New book celebrates life of Norfolk war heroine
2010: A new biography of Norfolk
-born World War One Christian heroine Edith Cavell
is being launched in Norwich
in October to mark the 95th anniversary of her execution.
Edith Cavell was a nurse tried by a German courts-martial in Brussels and, although not involved in espionage, was executed by firing squad. Edith had been helping Allied soldiers trapped in German-occupied parts of Belgium to escape into neutral Holland.
Edith Louisa Cavell was born on 4 December 1865 in the vicarage at Swardeston, a village five miles south of Norwich. She was the eldest of the vicar’s four children. All his children were taught the principles which their father, Frederick, held dear: thought for others, self-sacrifice and prayer. Edith was taught by her father at home, as he was unable to afford either a Governess or a private tutor.
Author Diana Souhami will be launching the new biography of Edith with a special lecture at Norwich Cathedral on Monday October 11 at 7.30pm. The talk will be introduced by the Bishop of Norwich, followed by a book signing.
There will also be a one night display (doors open at 6.30pm) of a collection of Edith Cavell memorabilia, curated by Norfolk Heritage Library, with items from Swardeston Church.
Churchwarden of St Mary's Swardeston and one of the event organisers, Nick Miller, said: “The event is an opportunity to explore a life of real Christian integrity and service which is a really positive example for us today.
“Edith was brought up in the Christian way, encouraged to be selfless and to put others before herself. This upbringing defined her – she was determined to ‘do something useful’, ‘something for people’, and went on to become a pioneering nurse. Executed for harbouring and abetting Allied soldiers, her life’s work represents the true nature of altruism.”
Tickets for the lecture (£3) are available either from the Cathedral shop 01603 218323 or from the Castle Street Waterstone’s shop (first floor counter, near Costa Coffee) on 01603 767292.
"I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.” - Edith Cavell.