Edith Cavell, By Diana Souhami

Remarkable story of compassion and martyrdom
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The Independent Culture

Edith Cavell's death by firing squad on 12 October 1915 was one of the most shocking events in a war that was full of them.

Few believed that a nurse, and a woman, would be shot by the Germans, no matter what the provocation, but once she was found guilty of smuggling British soldiers out of occupied Belgium, her fate was sealed.

Diana Souhami traces sympathetically Cavell's austere and disciplined life, from her late-Victorian childhood in the village of Swardeston, Norfolk, through her conversion to nursing and her need to do something useful, to her eventual work with the Red Cross and her refusal to flee when enemy forces arrived. She was an unlikely heroine, but so many owed their lives to her. A remarkable story.