Royal Mint Remembers WWI Nurse Edith Cavell Through £5 Coin


The Royal Mint honors Edith Cavell, the British nurse executed by the Germans during the Great War for helping Allied soldiers escape to the Netherlands, through a commemorative £5 coin.

The said Edith Cavell coin will be part of the set the Royal Mint is issuing next year in celebration of the First World War’s 100th year.

Edith Cavell, the daughter of a parson, hailed from the village of Swardeston, Norfolk. After she became a full-fledged nurse, she got invited start up nurses’ training in Belgium. When the Great War broke out, Edith Cavell was in the safety of her home village. However, she insisted in going back to Europe.

As historians put it, her determination to return to the college and the nursing team she established in Belgium was due to her commitment to her Christian faith.

While there, WWI British nurse Edith Cavell helped WWI soldiers from both sides. Aside from that, she became part of  a secret group which aided in the smuggling of 200 Allied soldiers in order to save them from being the Germans’ prisoners of war. The group shipped them into the Netherlands, which was a neutral territory.

When she was betrayed and arrested in August of 1915, Edith Cavell did not deny her participation in the smuggling. She was, then, tried for treason.

Edith Cavell was killed through a firing squad morning of October 12, 1915 in spite of clemency appeals made by the US and Spain. She was only 49 when she died. That time, UK did not have the power to save her as stated by Sir Horace Rowland of the British Foreign Office.

Despite her dreary situation, Edith Cavell did not malign her detractors nor those who failed to save her from her impending death. These acts were lauded and cited by many historians  as another facet of the courage Edith Cavell possessed.

According to Treasury Minister Nicky Morgan, Edith Cavell showed true courage by helping WWI soldiers regardless of their nationalities. Furthermore, she aided in the escape of Allied soldiers and that deed cost her her life. It is but fitting to commemorate Edith Cavell and hail her as a British hero.

Mr. Morgan further added that remembering the people of the Great War and the various sacrifices they made is very vital, thus, the commemoration of Edith Cavell.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE