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Biography of Edith Cavell

Photo of Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell was a nurse executed during the First World War.

When and Where was she Born?

4th December 1865, Swardeston, Norfolk, England.

Family Background:

Edith Cavell was the daughter of the vicar of Swardeston.


Boarding schools in London, Clevedon Somerset and Peterborough.

Timeline of Edith Cavell:

1895: Edith Cavell becomes a nurse.

1907: She is appointed the first Matron of the Berkendael Institute in Brussels.

1914: Berkendael Institute becomes a Red Cross hospital at the outbreak of the First World War.

1915: Edith is arrested by German Troops for assisting allied soldiers to escape from German occupied Belgium to the Dutch border between November 1914 and July 1915. She is Court Martialled, condemned to death and executed by firing squad alongside the Belgian Phillipe Baucq who had enlisted guides to help soldiers escape.

Statue to Edith Cavell
Memorial to Edith Cavell in St Martin’s Place, London
(between the National Portrait Gallery and St Martin’s in the Fields) (copyright Anthony Blagg)

When and Where did she Die?

12th October 1915, executed at Brussels, Belgium.

Age at Death:



Never married. She became a nurse due to a failed love affair.

Site of Grave:

Near South East Transept wall, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England.

Places of Interest:


Royal London Hospital.
Museum at St. Augustine with St. Phillip’s Church, Newark Street.
Imperial War Museum.
Statue in St Martin’s Place near St Martin’s in the Fields Church.