First World War nurse Edith Cavell to be commemorated on new £5 coin

Cavell, who was executed after helping 200 allied troops escape occupied Belgium, will be pictured on the new £5 coin

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The Independent Online

A new £5 pound coin to commemorate the work of British First World War nurse Edith Cavell is to be released next year, marking one hundred years since her death.

The coin will form part of a set of special commemorative coins created by the Royal Mint to mark the war’s centenary.

Cavell, who worked as a nurse in German occupied Belgium until her death in 1915, was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of soldiers from both sides, as well as helping nearly 200 allied soldiers escape German forces in Belgium to neighbouring Holland.

When the German authorities found out about the assistance she was giving to allied soldiers, she was arrested, before being executed by firing squad.

According to Treasury minister Nicky Morgan, Edith Cavell was a British hero and deserved to be celebrated on one of the commemorative coins.

She said: "She showed true bravery by helping injured soldiers, regardless of their nationality, and it is right that she should be honoured as a British hero.”

Following the success of a petition last year that persuaded the Treasury to replace Charles Darwin with the author Jane Austen on their new £10 notes, Cavell’s relatives decided to begin their own petition calling for Cavell to be included on a new £2 coin, unaware she would be considered for the £5.

In May, relatives of Cavell delivered the petition to the Treasury with nearly 110,000 signatures.

So successful has the campaign been, Chancellor George Osborne last week considered the possibility of adding Cavell to one of the new coin designs alongside celebrated military chief Lord Kitchener.