|Born||4 December 1865
Swardeston, Norfolk, United Kingdom
|Died||12 October 1915
Tir national, Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium
|Church of England|
|Feast||12 October (Anglican memorial day)|
Edith Louisa Cavell (//; 4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested. She was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage.
She is well known for her statement that "patriotism is not enough". Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, "I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved." 12 October is appointed for her commemoration in the Anglican church, although this is not a "saint's feast day" in the traditional sense.
Edith Cavell, who was 49 at the time of her execution, was already notable as a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 First World War and execution
- 3 Role in First World War propaganda
- 4 German response
- 5 Burial and memorials
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Early life and career
Edith Cavell was born on 4 December 1865 in Swardeston, a village near Norwich, where her father was vicar for 45 years. She was the eldest of the four children of the Reverend Frederick and Louisa Sophia Cavell and was taught always to share with the less fortunate, despite her family’s meagre income. After a period as a governess, including for a family in Brussels 1890–1895, she trained as a nurse at the London Hospital under Matron Eva Luckes and worked in various hospitals in England, including Shoreditch Infirmary. In 1907, Cavell was recruited by Dr Antoine Depage to be matron of a newly established nursing school, L'École Belge d’Infirmières Diplômées, (or The Berkendael Medical Institute) on the Rue de la Culture (now Rue Franz Merjay), Ixelles in Brussels. By 1910, "Miss Cavell "felt that the profession of nursing had gained sufficient foothold in Belgium to warrant the publishing of a professional journal" and, therefore, launched the nursing journal, L'infirmière". A year later, she was a training nurse for three hospitals, 24 schools, and 13 kindergartens in Belgium.
When the First World War broke out, she was visiting her widowed mother in Norfolk in the East of England. She returned to Brussels, where her clinic and nursing school were taken over by the Red Cross.
First World War and execution
In November 1914, after the German occupation of Brussels, Cavell began sheltering British soldiers and funnelling them out of occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands. Wounded British and French soldiers and Belgian and French civilians of military age were hidden from the Germans and provided with false papers by Prince Reginald de Croy at his château of Bellignies near Mons. From there, they were conducted by various guides to the houses of Cavell, Louis Séverin and others in Brussels, and furnished by them with money to reach the Dutch frontier and with guides obtained through Philippe Baucq. This placed Cavell in violation of German military law. German authorities became increasingly suspicious of the nurse's actions, which were backed up by her outspokenness.
She was arrested on 3 August 1915 and charged with harbouring Allied soldiers. She had been betrayed by Gaston Quien, who was later convicted by a French court as a collaborator. She was held in Saint-Gilles prison for 10 weeks, the last two in solitary confinement. She made three depositions to the German police, 8, 18, and 22 August, admitting that she had been instrumental in conveying about 60 British and 15 French soldiers and about 100 French and Belgians of military age to the frontier and had sheltered most of them in her house.
In her court-martial she was prosecuted for aiding British and French soldiers, in addition to young Belgian men, to cross the border and eventually enter Britain. She admitted her guilt when she signed a statement the day before the trial. Cavell declared that the soldiers she had helped escape thanked her in writing when arriving safely in Britain. This admission confirmed that Cavell had helped the soldiers navigate the Dutch frontier, but it also established that she helped them escape to a country at war with Germany.
The penalty according to German military law was death. Paragraph 58 of the German Military Code said; "Will be sentenced to death for treason any person who, with the intention of helping the hostile Power, or of causing harm to the German or allied troops, is guilty of one of the crimes of paragraph 90 of the German Penal Code." The case referred to in the above-mentioned paragraph 90 consists of "Conducting soldiers to the enemy." Additionally, the penalties according to paragraph 160 of the German Code, in case of war, apply to foreigners as well as Germans.
While the First Geneva Convention ordinarily guaranteed protection of medical personnel, that protection was forfeit if used as cover for any belligerent action. This forfeiture is expressed in article 7 of the 1906 version of the Convention, which was the version in force at the time. The German authorities instead justified prosecution merely on the basis of the German law and the interests of the German state.
The British government could do nothing to help her. Sir Horace Rowland of the Foreign Office said, "I am afraid that it is likely to go hard with Miss Cavell; I am afraid we are powerless." Lord Robert Cecil, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said, "Any representation by us", he advised, "will do her more harm than good." The United States, however, had not yet joined the war and was in a position to apply diplomatic pressure. Hugh S. Gibson, First Secretary of the U.S. legation at Brussels, made clear to the German government that executing Cavell would further harm Germany's already damaged reputation. Later, he wrote:
"We reminded [German civil governor Baron von der Lancken] of the burning of Louvain and the sinking of the Lusitania, and told him that this murder would rank with those two affairs and would stir all civilised countries with horror and disgust. Count Harrach broke in at this with the rather irrelevant remark that he would rather see Miss Cavell shot than have harm come to the humblest German soldier, and his only regret was that they had not "three or four old English women to shoot."
Baron von der Lancken is known to have stated that Cavell should be pardoned because of her complete honesty and because she had helped save so many lives, German as well as Allied. However, General von Sauberzweig, the military governor of Brussels, ordered that "in the interests of the State" the implementation of the death penalty against Baucq and Cavell should be immediate, denying higher authorities an opportunity to consider clemency. Cavell was defended by lawyer Sadi Kirschen from Brussels. Of the 27 put on trial, five were condemned to death: Cavell, Baucq (an architect in his thirties), Louise Thuliez, Séverin and Countess Jeanne de Belleville. Of the five sentenced to death, only Cavell and Baucq were executed; the other three were reprieved.
Cavell was not arrested for espionage, as many were led to believe, but for treason. She may have been recruited by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and turned away from her espionage duties in order to help Allied soldiers escape, although this is not widely accepted. Rankin cites the published statement of M. R. D. Foot, historian and WW2 British intelligence officer, as to Cavell's having been part of SIS or MI6
When in custody, Cavell was questioned in French, but the session was minuted in German. This gave the interrogator the opportunity to misinterpret her answers. Although she may have been misrepresented, she made no attempt to defend herself. Cavell was provided with a defender approved by the German military governor. A previous defender, who was chosen for Cavell by her assistant, Elizabeth Wilkins,was ultimately rejected by the governor.
The night before her execution, she told the Reverend Stirling Gahan, the Anglican chaplain who had been allowed to see her and to give her Holy Communion, "Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." These words are inscribed on her statue in St Martin's Place, near Trafalgar Square in London. Her final words to the German Lutheran prison chaplain, Paul Le Seur, were recorded as, "Ask Father Gahan to tell my loved ones later on that my soul, as I believe, is safe, and that I am glad to die for my country."
From his sick bed Brand Whitlock, the U.S. minister to Belgium, wrote a personal note on Cavell's behalf to Moritz von Bissing, the governor general of Belgium. Hugh Gibson; Maitre G. de Leval, the legal adviser to the United States legation; and Rodrigo Saavedra y Vinent, 2nd Marques de Villalobar, the Spanish minister, formed a midnight deputation of appeal for mercy or at least postponement of sentence. Despite these efforts, on 11 October, Baron von der Lancken allowed the execution to proceed. Sixteen men, forming two firing squads, carried out the sentence pronounced on her and on four Belgian men at the Tir national shooting range in Schaerbeek, at 7:00 am on 12 October 1915. There are conflicting reports of the details of Cavell's execution. However, according to the eyewitness account of the Reverend Le Seur, who attended Cavell in her final hours, eight soldiers fired at Cavell while the other eight executed Baucq.
There is also a dispute over the sentencing imposed under the German Military Code. Supposedly, the death penalty relevant to the offence committed by Cavell was not officially declared until a few hours after her death.
On instructions from the Spanish minister, Belgian women immediately buried her body next to Saint-Gilles Prison. After the War, her body was taken back to Britain for a memorial service at Westminster Abbey and then transferred to Norwich, to be laid to rest at Life's Green on the east side of the cathedral. The King had to grant an exception to an Order in Council of 1854 which prevented any burials in the grounds of the cathedral, to allow the reburial.
Role in First World War propaganda
In the months and years following Cavell's death, countless newspaper articles, pamphlets, images, and books publicised her story. She became an iconic propaganda figure for military recruitment in Britain, and to help increase favourable sentiment towards the Allies in the United States. She was a popular icon because of her sex, her nursing profession, and her apparently heroic approach to death. Her execution was represented as an act of German barbarism and moral depravity.
News reports shortly following Cavell's execution were found to be only true in part. Even the American Journal of Nursing repeated the fictional account of Cavell's execution in which she fainted and fell because of her refusal to wear a blindfold in front of the firing squad. Allegedly, while she lay unconscious, the German commanding officer shot her dead with a revolver. Numerous accounts like these stimulated international outrage and general anti-German sentiments.
Along with the invasion of Belgium, and the sinking of the Lusitania, Cavell's execution was widely publicised in both Britain and North America by Wellington House, the British War Propaganda Bureau.
Because of the British government's decision to use Cavell's story as propaganda, she became the most prominent British female casualty of First World War. The combination of heroic appeal and a resonant atrocity-story narrative made Cavell's case one of the most effective in British propaganda of the First World War, as well as a factor in enduring post-war anti-German sentiment.
Before the First World War, Cavell was not well known outside nursing circles. This allowed the creation of two different depictions of her in British propaganda, which ignored anything that did not fit this image, including the suggestion that Cavell, during her interrogation, had given information that incriminated others. In November 1915, the British Foreign Office issued a denial that Cavell had implicated anyone else in her testimony.
One image commonly represented was of Cavell as an innocent victim of a ruthless and dishonourable enemy. This view depicted her as innocent of espionage, and was most commonly used in various forms of British propaganda, such as postcards and newspaper illustrations during the war. Her story was presented in the British press as a means of fuelling a desire for revenge on the battlefield. These images implied that men must enlist in the armed forces immediately in order to stop the murder of innocent British women.
Another, second, representation of Cavell during the First World War saw her described as a serious, reserved, brave, and patriotic woman who devoted her life to nursing and died to save others. This portrayal has been illustrated in numerous biographical sources, from personal first-hand experiences of the Red Cross nurse. Pastor Le Seur, the German army chaplain, recalled at the time of her execution, "I do not believe that Miss Cavell wanted to be a martyr…but she was ready to die for her country… Miss Cavell was a very brave woman and a faithful Christian". Another account from Anglican chaplain, the Reverend Gahan, remembers Cavell's words, "I have no fear or shrinking; I have seen death so often it is not strange, or fearful to me!" In this interpretation, her stoicism was seen as remarkable for a woman, and brought her even greater renown than a man in similar circumstances would have received.
Unlike the rest of the world, the German government thought that they had acted fairly towards Cavell. In a letter, German undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Dr Alfred Zimmermann (not to be confused with Arthur Zimmerman, German Secretary for Foreign Affairs) made a statement to the press on behalf of the German government:
It was a pity that Miss Cavell had to be executed, but it was necessary. She was judged justly...It is undoubtedly a terrible thing that the woman has been executed; but consider what would happen to a State, particularly in war, if it left crimes aimed at the safety of its armies to go unpunished because committed by women.
From the Germans' perspective, had they released Cavell, there would have been a surge in the number of women participating in acts against Germany because they knew they would not be severely punished. It was up to the responsible men to follow their legal duty to Germany and ignore the world’s condemnation. Their laws do not make distinctions between sexes, the only exception to this rule being that according to legal customs, women in a "delicate" (probably this means "pregnant") condition could not be executed.
The German government also believed that all of the convicted people were thoroughly aware of the nature of their acts. The court paid particular attention to this point, releasing several accused persons because there was doubt as to whether the accused knew that their actions were punishable. The condemned, on the other hand, knew full well what they were doing and the punishment for committing their crimes because "numerous public proclamations had pointed out the fact that aiding enemies’ armies was punishable with death."
Burial and memorials
Cavell's remains were returned to Britain after the war and a state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey. On 19 May 1919, her body was reburied at the east side of Norwich Cathedral; a graveside service is still held each October. The railway van that conveyed her remains from Dover to London is kept as a memorial on the Kent and East Sussex Railway and is usually open to view at Bodiam railway station.
Following Cavell's death, many memorials were created around the world to remember her. One of the first was the one unveiled 12 October 1918 by Queen Alexandra on the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, during the opening of a home for nurses which also bore her name.
Other honours include:
- a dedication on the war memorial on the grounds of Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
- a marble and stone memorial in Kings Domain in Melbourne, Australia
- a memorial by Henry Alfred Pegram outside Norwich Cathedral, UK
- a memorial in Peterborough Cathedral, England
- a stone memorial in Paris, one of two statues that Adolf Hitler ordered destroyed on his 1940 visit (the other being that of Charles Mangin)
- a stone memorial, including a statue of Cavell by George Frampton unveiled in 1920, adjacent to Trafalgar Square in London
- an inscription on a war memorial, naming the 35 people executed by the German army in Tir National in Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium
- Monument to Edith Cavell and Marie Depage by Paul Du Bois in Brussels
Medical and nursing facilities
- A ward in the Basildon University Hospital, Basildon, Essex
- A building at the Medical School, University of Queensland, Australia
- A ward in the Whittington Hospital in Archway, London
- A wing of Homerton Hospital, Hackney, London
- A wing of Toronto Western Hospital, Canada
- Cavell Gardens Care Home, Vancouver, Canada; the site was Edith Cavell Hospital from 1955 to 2000
- Cavell House Care Home, Middle Road, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6GS
- Cavell Ward at the former Digby Hospital Exeter (Exe Vale Hospitals group)
- Edith Cavell Care Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
- The Edith Cavell Home, Hospital, and Village (a retirement village) in Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand
- The Edith Cavell Clinic in the Brussels borough of Uccle (Ukkel), Belgium
- Edith Cavell Hospital, in Peterborough, England, where she received part of her education
- Cavell Building, Quinte Children's Treatment Centre, Belleville, Ontario, Canada (demolished in 2013)
- Edith Cavell Regional School of Nursing, in Belleville, Ontario, Canada (demolished in 2013)
- Edith Cavell Surgery in Streatham, London
- Sanatorium Edith Cavell, Obourg, Belgium
- University of East Anglia, Norwich, named its School of Nursing Sciences building the Edith Cavell Building (ECB), when it opened in 2006
- Rue Edith Cavell, in Brussels (where there is an hospital named Edith Cavell, next to previous "Rue de la Culture" where was her first nurse school)
- Avenue Edith Cavell, Hyères, France
- Avenue Edith-Cavell, in Nice, France
- Avenue Miss Cavell, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France
- Cavell Avenue in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
- Cavell Avenue in Guelph, Ontario
- Cavell Avenue in The Danforth neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario
- Cavell Avenue, in Trenton, New Jersey, USA
- Cavell Avenue, Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
- Cavell Close, Woodbeck, Nottinghamshire, England, (this has been demolished)
- Cavell Drive in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
- Cavell Drive in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Cavell Drive, Portsmouth, UK (Queen Alexandra Hospital)
- Cavell Road, Billericay, Essex, England
- Cavell Road, Dudley, West Midlands (formerly Worcestershire), England
- Cavell Road, Norwich, England
- Cavell Street (formerly known as Bedford Street), running next to the London Hospital in Whitechapel, London, where Cavell trained
- Cavell Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Cavell Street, Reefton, New Zealand
- Cavell Street, West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
- Cavell Street, Westland, Michigan, USA
- Cavell Walk, Stevenage, England
- Cavell Way, Maidenbower, Crawley, West Sussex, England
- Cavell Way, Pendleton, Salford, Greater Manchester
- Edith Cavell Boulevard, a road in Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
- Edith Cavell Close, Openshaw, Manchester
- Edith Cavell Court, Kingston upon Hull, England
- Edith Cavell Drive Steeple Bumpstead, England
- Edith Cavell Street in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Edith Cavell Street in Port Louis, Mauritius
- Edith Cavell Way, Shooters Hill, London
- Edith Cavellstraat, a street in Ostend, Belgium
- Nurse Cavell Lane, Paparoa, Northland, New Zealand
- Rua Edith Cavell, a street in Lisbon, Portugal
- Rue Edith Cavell / Edith Cavellstraat, a street in Uccle (Ukkel), Brussels, Belgium
- Rue Edith Cavell, Le Havre, France
- Rue Edith Cavell, Vitry-sur-Seine, France
- Rue Miss Cavell, Arques, France
- Rue Miss Edith Cawell, Creil, France
Schools, houses and school buildings
- A middle school in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which closed in 1987
- An elementary school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, which was later renamed to S.F. Howe
- Cavell, a house at Stamford High School
- Cavell House, blue house at Sheringham High School, Norfolk, England
- Cavell House, dark blue house at Jersey College for Girls
- Cavell House, green house at Pratt Memorial School, Kolkata, India
- Cavell House, green house at Queen Mary School, Mumbai, India
- Cavell House, Northlands School (founded 1920), Olivos, Argentina
- Cavell House, red house at Cliff Park Junior School, Gorleston
- Cavell House, the fourth, blue house of St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School, Brisbane, Australia
- Cavell Primary School, Norwich, England
- Edith Cavell Elementary School, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
- Edith Cavell Elementary School, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Edith Cavell House, green house at Barnes School, Deolali, India
- Edith Cavell Lower School in Bedford, UK
- Edith Cavell School, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
- Wymondham College in Norfolk has a boarding block named after her
- Cavell House at 26, College Road in Norwich is where her parents lived in retirement
- Edith Cavell Secondary School, Hackney, London, England
- Cavell House, at Abbeydale Grammar School for Girls, Sheffield
- A car park in Peterborough's Queensgate shopping centre (until November 2011 when it was renamed as a colour)
- Cavell Corona, a geological feature on Venus
- Cavell Gardens, Inverness, Scotland
- Cavell House, a guest house in Clevedon, Somerset, UK, where she spent some of her childhood
- Cavell Park, a playground in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
- Edith became a popular name for French and Belgian girls after her execution. The French chanteuse Édith Piaf, born two months after Cavell was executed, was the best known of these
- Edith Cavell bridge over the Shotover River in the Otago Region of New Zealand
- Edith Cavell Chapter of the Daughters of the British Empire in Houston, Texas, United States
- The Edith Cavell Nursing Scholarship Fund, a philanthropy of the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation providing scholarships to exceptional nursing students in Dallas, Texas, USA, and the surrounding area
- The Edith Cavell public house, Tombland, Norwich, England
- The Edith Cavell Trust was established by the New South Wales Nurses' Association to provide scholarships to nurses in New South Wales, Australia
- The Cavell Van was the prototype passenger luggage van that transported her remains from Dover to London during her repatriation.
- Miss Edith Cavell, a variety of rose first bred in 1917
- Mount Edith Cavell, a peak in Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, named for her in 1916
- Radio Cavell broadcasting to the staff and patients of the Royal Oldham Hospital in Oldham, England
- YWCA Camp Cavell in Lexington, Michigan, United States
- Edith Cavell Projectile Factory in Overnewton, Glasgow, Scotland
In popular culture
Films, plays and television
- The first film made of the story was the 1916 Australian silent film The Martyrdom of Nurse Cavell soon followed by Nurse Cavell.
- In 1918 John G. Adolfi directed The Woman the Germans Shot, starring Julia Arthur as Cavell
- Herbert Wilcox made a 1928 silent film based on the story called Dawn with Sybil Thorndike. He remade it as Nurse Edith Cavell (1939) starring Anna Neagle and George Sanders.
- Nurse Cavell, a 1933 play in three acts, by C. S. Forester with C. E. Bechhofer Roberts
- In the second episode of the 1980 television series To Serve Them All My Days, Cavell is mentioned in a speech to the school's Officers' Training Corps.
- In the final episode of the 2014 BBC drama series The Crimson Field, Cavell is mentioned as having been executed, during the interrogation of Sister Joan Livesey.
- In Les plus grands Belges ("The Greatest Belgians"), a 2005 television show on the Belgian French-speaking public channel RTBF, the audience voted Cavell the 48th greatest Belgian.
- The song "Que Sera" on the album Silent June by O'Hooley & Tidow was inspired by the execution of Edith Cavell.
- The song "Amy Quartermaine" by Manning from the 2011 album Margaret's Children is also based on the life of Cavell.
- Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer and courtesan executed by the French in 1917, on charges of spying for Germany.
- Gabrielle Petit, a Belgian nurse executed by the German army for spying for Britain in 1916.
- Andrée de Jongh, a Belgian nurse who in the Second World War helped POWs escape, being inspired by Edith Cavell.
- Judson 1941.
- Unger 1997.
- Hoehling 1957.
- Encyclopædia Britannica 1922.
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- The Mount Washington News 1934.
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- Charles Irving Bevans 1968, p. 972.
- Norton-Taylor 2005.
- Hugh Gibson 1917.
- Hughes 2005.
- Nicholas Rankin 2008, p. 36–37.
- Watson 2014.
- Gahan 1925, pp. 288-289.
- Encyclopedia Americana 1920.
- London Gazette 1919.
- Peterson 1939, p. 61.
- Zimmermann 1916, p. 481.
- Norwich Cathedral.
- The Times 1918.
- BBC News 2014.
- Peterborough Cathedral.
- Goodwin 1994.
- British Pathe 1920.
- Barrier Miner 1920.
- Edith Cavell Clinic
- Belleville Intelligencer 2013.
- Black Country Bugle 2005.
- BBC News 2011.
- Heritage New Zealand.
- Colonel Stephens Railway Museum.
- Peak Finder.
- CBC News 2014.
- Dundee Courier 23 June 1919.
- Roberts and Forester 1933.
- "The Death of Edith Cavell". The Daily News & Leader (London: H.C. & L.). 1915.
- William Thomson Hill (1915). The Martyrdom of Nurse Cavell: The Life Story of the Victim of Germany's Most Barbarous Crime : With Illustrations. London: Hutchinson & Co.
- Hoehling,A.A. (Oct 1957). "The Story of Edith Cavell". The American Journal of Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 57 (10): 1320–1322. doi:10.2307/3461516. JSTOR 3461516.
- Anne-Marie Claire Hughes (2005). "War, Gender and National Mourning: The Significance of the Death and Commemoration of Edith Cavell in Britain". European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire 12 (3): 425–444. doi:10.1080/13507480500428938.
- Helen Judson (Jul 1941). "Edith Cavell". The American Journal of Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 41 (7): 871. doi:10.2307/3415077. JSTOR 3415077.
- Alice Goldfarb Marquis (Jul 1978). "Words as Weapons: Propaganda in Britain and Germany during the First World War". Journal of Contemporary History (Sage Publications, Ltd.) 13 (3): 467–498. JSTOR 260205.
- Horace Cornelius Peterson (1939). Propaganda for war: the campaign against American neutrality, 1914-1917.
- Nicholas Rankin (2008). A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-19-976917-9.
- Adolph A. Hoehling (1957). A whisper of eternity: the mystery of Edith Cavell. T. Yoseloff.
- Roberts, Carl Eric Bechhofer; Forester, Cecil Scott (1933). Nurse Cavell: A Play in Three Acts. John Lane.
- Charles Sarolea (1915). The Murder of Nurse Cavell. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
- Elisabeth Robinson Scovil (Nov 1915). "An Heroic Nurse". The American Journal of Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 16 (2): 118–121. JSTOR 3406248.
- Goodwin, Doris Kearns (1994). No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780671642402.
- Gahan, H. Stirling (Rev'd) (1925). "The Execution of Edith Cavell". America; Great Crises in Our History Told by Its Makers: A Library of Original Sources... Volume XI. Americanization Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Cavell, Edith". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
- Greig Watson (2014-02-24). "World War One: Edith Cavell and Charles Fryatt 'martyred'". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- Henri F. Klein (1920). "Cavell, Edith". In Rines, George Edwin. Encyclopedia Americana.
- The London Gazette: . 9 May 1919.
- Zimmermann, Alfred (1916). "A Defense of the Execution". The New York Times Current History. No. 3. New York Times Company.
- Abraham Unger (1997-09-23). "Edith Cavell". HistoryNet. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- Michael Duffy (2009-08-22). "Primary Documents - Maitre G. de Leval on the Execution of Edith Cavell, 12 October 1915". firstworldwar.com. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- "Seeks Release as Betrayer of Cavell". The Mount Washington News. 23 February 1934.
- "Alleged Betrayer Freed". Palm Beach Daily News. Mar 10, 1936.
- Charles Irving Bevans (1968). Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949: Multilateral, 1918-1930: 1918-1930. Department of State.
- Hugh Gibson (1917). A Journal from our Legation (the American Legation) in Belgium ... Illustrated from photographs. Hodder & Stoughton.
- Richard Norton-Taylor (12 October 2005). "How British diplomats failed Edith Cavell". The Guardian. Retrieved July 2014.
- "Nurse Edith Cavell". Norwich Cathedral. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
- "Court Circular". The Times (London). 14 Oct 1918.
- "WW1 nurse Edith Cavell to feature on new £5 coin". BBC News. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Right dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints. Peterborough Cathedral. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Nurse Cavell Memorial 1920 (Black and White) (News Reel). London: British Pathe. 1920. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Cavell coming down". Belleville Intelligencer. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "BBC News – Peterborough car parks drop names of historic figures". BBC News. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "How 1920s Dudley honoured Nurse Cavell". Black Country Bugle. 6 January 2005. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Minneapolisparks.org". Minneapolisparks.org. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Edith Cavell Bridge". Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Mount Edith Cavell". Peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Mount Edith Cavell removed from new $10 bill description". CBC. The Canadian Press. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "EDITH CAVELL FACTORY FOR SALE". Dundee Courier (Angus, Scotland). 23 June 1919. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Reuter's (18 March 1920). "STATUE OF EDITH CAVELL". Barrier Miner 33 (9837) (Broken Hill, NSW, Australia). Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- ""Cavell" Passenger Luggage Van No 132". Colonel Stephens Railway Museum, Kent and East Sussex Railway. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Harold Dwight Lasswell (1927). Propaganda Technique in World War One. MIT Press (MA). ISBN 978-0-262-62018-5.
- Terri Arthur (2011). Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell WWI Nurse. Beagle Books Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-0-9841813-2-2.
- Diana Souhami (2010). Edith Cavell. Quercus. ISBN 978-1-84916-359-0.
- Katie Pickles (2007). Transnational Outrage: The Death and Commemoration of Edith Cavell. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-8607-8.
- E. Lyman Cabot; Alice L. F. Fitzgerald (2006). The Edith Cavell Nurse from Massachusetts: The War Lettes of Alice Fitzgerald, An, American Nurse Serving in the British Expeditionary Force, Boulogne- The Somme 1916-1917. Meadow Books. ISBN 978-1-84685-202-2.
- Sally Grant (1995). Edith Cavell, 1865-1915. Larks Press. ISBN 978-0-948400-28-5.
- Elizabeth Grey (1973). Friend Within the Gates: The Story of Nurse Edith Cavell. Dell Publishing Company.
- Iris Vinton (1960). The Story of Edith Cavell ... Illustrated by Gerald McCann. London.
- Reginald Berkeley (1928). Dawn: a biographical novel of Edith Cavell. Sears.
- Rowland Ryder (1975). Edith Cavell. Hamilton.
- Adèle De Leeuw (1968). Edith Cavell; Nurse, Spy, Heroine. Putnam.
- Juliette Elkon Hamelecourt (1956). Edith Cavell, Heroic Nurse. J. Messner.
- Jan Johnson (1 February 1979). The Secret Task of Nurse Cavell: A Story about Edith Cavell. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-03-041661-3.
- Ernest Protheroe (1916). A Noble Woman ; The Life-story of Edith Cavell. By Ernest Protheroe. Kelly.
- Jacqueline van Til (1922). With Edith Cavell in Belgium. H.W. Bridges. ISBN 978-1-153-21140-6.
- Brian Peachment (1980). Ready to Die: The Story of Edith Cavell. Faith in Action Series. Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-0-08-024189-0.
- William S. Murphy (1916). In Memoriam: Edith Cavell. Stoneham.
- Beck, James Montgomery (1915). The Case of Edith Cavell: a Study of the Rights of Noncombatants ... Reprinted from "New York Times.". New York & London: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
- Richard Heron Ward (1965). The Secret Trial: An Unhistorical Charade Suggested by the Life and Death of Edith Cavell.
- Noel Boston (1955). The Dutiful Edith Cavell. Norwich Cathedral.
- Peter van Alfen (2006). "The Meaning of a Memory: The Case of Edith Cavell and the Lusitania in Post-World War I Belgium". American Numismatic Society. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- "Cavell, Edith". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
- Peter Clowes (2006-06-12). "Edith Cavell: World War I Nurse and Heroine". HistoryNet. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edith Cavell.|
- Official website
- Norfolk Pubs - The Edith Cavell
- Works by or about Edith Cavell at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
- Find A Grave – about the Brussels memorial
- Find A Grave – about the grave in Norwich