Cavell, Edith. (1865, England - 1915, Belgium). A trained English nurse, appointed in 1907 first matron of the Berkendael Institute of Brussels, where she helped improve nursing standards.
In 1914, when the Germans occupied Belgium, she became associated with an underground group helping British, French and Belgian soldiers flee to Holland. Escape included shelter at the Berkendael Institute, now a Red Cross hospital. Men were supplied with money and guides. Some 200 men had benefited from this help when Cavell and some of her collaborators were arrested. Cavell confessed and at her court-martial of October 7-9, 1915, she was sentenced to death, although for reasons which did not include espionage. Despite diplomatic efforts by neutral countries to obtain a reprieve, Cavell was executed, becoming a martyr in the process, a widely-publicized example of German atrocities in Belgium. (See: A.A. Hoechling, Edith Cavell 1958.)
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