Edith Cavell came from a Christian family and grew up in a tranquil, English village in Norfolk. Her upbringing taught her to look out for those around her, and this altruism stayed with her until she died.
She started out as a governess, but she wrote to her cousin, ‘Being a governess is only temporary; someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful.’ That something was nursing, and after training and working in England for several years, she moved to Brussels to start her own training school for nurses. Her diligence was impressive and her work was proving successful, but it was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War.
Edith’s primary aim was to be a nurse and to help anyone who needed her; she told her nurses not to take sides in the conflict. Her caring nature led her into Resistance work and she helped over 200 Allied soldiers escape to freedom. But she was discovered and subsequently arrested. While others in her situation were spared, she and one other were sentenced to death. And with courage and humility she was killed by firing squad on 12 October 1915. Her story is inspirational which is why she is remembered every year and her legacy lives on.