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Remembered Today:

Edith Cavell born 4 December 1865


seaJane
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In other words, today is her birthday: next year will be the 150th anniversary of her birth and the centenary of her death.

She is today's Life of the Day in the Oxford DNB http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2014-12-04

sJ

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yes next year at Norwich Cathedral she will be remembered hopefully by many hundreds !

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sJ

Something I learned this summer,the Canadians have named a mountain (3363 metres) in the Jasper Rockies/icefield after the lady. While they were at it they also named one Mount Fryatt (3361 metres),and another Mount Richtofen (dunno) ! As Michael Caine might have said,"not a lot of people know that " !

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sJ

Whoops ! Mount Richtofen (3944 metres) is in the Never Summer Range in Colorado,nowt to do with the flyer,more to do with Baron Ferdinand the German geologist.

I had this second thought,why commemorate the flyer when there were perhaps more appropriate allies of the war period. I was washing up at the time.

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Thank you for that information everybody.

Jerry - that card is bloodcurdling, isn't it (of course it was meant to be).

sJ

sJ

I was washing up at the time.

Washing up is dangerous. I am wearing sticking-plaster after slicing a finger-tip on the edge of a piece of aluminium foil.

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Sj (or may I call you Fingers)

I always keep a watch for piranha in my suds.

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Sj (or may I call you Fingers)

I always keep a watch for piranha in my suds.

:) we are in danger of losing the thread.

I first saw Edith Cavell's grave when, aged 11, I was on a school trip to Norfolk.

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Deprived childhood to go to Norfolk?

Interesting to see the postcards represent two different ladies as such, the "true" older matron type and the younger martyr portrayed to the public. A brave lady no less but to see her as naive young lady does grate.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for that information everybody.

Jerry - that card is bloodcurdling, isn't it (of course it was meant to be).

sJ

Washing up is dangerous. I am wearing sticking-plaster after slicing a finger-tip on the edge of a piece of aluminium foil.

Indeed, as it was intended. They did do a good job of imparting hatred and inspiring loathing of the beastly hun!

As also mentioned, the use of an image of her as a young lady for the "murder" is again cleverly done and designed for maximum effect.

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  • 9 months later...

As is the British custom, no mention even by the BBC of the other person executed with her, Philippe Baucq - she was one cog in a very large wheel.

Sue

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It was all over the news 'radio, TV,,) here in Flanders:

A memorial service and a new statue in Ukkel in English:

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/videozone_ENG/1.2467115?playlist=7.50092

Some background information in English:

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/videozone_ENG/1.2466043?playlist=7.50092

Webpage: There"s a button to the full movie of the service but I cant find a direct link, click on the right movie where it says "Klaroengeschal..."

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/14-18/1.2463791

In the news on the Flemish TV with some English:

http://www.brusselnieuws.be/nl/video/tvbrussel/herdenking-verpleegster-edith-cavell-ze-hielp-soldaten-uit-belgie-ontsnappen

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Secrets and Spies: The Untold Story of Edith Cavell - BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b069wth6

There is a podcast by Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5

"... investigates the secret history of Britain's greatest heroine of the First World War, Edith Cavell"

"For the first time ever, she uncovers startling new evidence that Cavell's secret escape organisation was not just involved in helping allied soldiers as we've always been led to believe, but was also actively engaged in espionage"

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p032lft3.mp3

Emma Cavell, descendant of Edith's uncle George is quoted as saying
"Je trouve cela fascinant. En tant qu’historienne, je connais l’importance d’éplucher des archives et de déterrer de nouvelles preuves. Ma famille a toujours pensé qu’elle n’était pas une espionne, mais peut-être que c'est le cas finalement"

http://www.france24.com/fr/20151012-premiere-guerre-mondiale-execution-infirmiere-anglaise-edith-cavell-allemagne-espionage

And Edith Piaf (b.19-Dec-1915) was named after Edith Cavell

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A piece in today's Daily Telegraph, (13th October) Edith Cavell's Words before her execution 'altered for war effort' gives that evidence has emerged that Cavell's final reported words contained "a longer and more explicitly Christian quotation, openly suggesting forgiveness to her German killers" than the familiar "Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone" and that they "may have been deliberately changed to suit the war effort". The evidence for this is said to come from a handwritten account of his last meeting with Cavell on the night before her execution sent to her family by Rev Gahan which adds to the patriotism is not enough quote: "It is not enough to love one's own people, one must love all men and hate none" Nick Miller of the Norfolk Cavell 2015 Partnership is reported as saying that it's possible that Cavell's final words to the Rev Stirling Gahan were watered down by the American Legation in Brussels before being passed on: "Maybe in the middle of war to say I must not just love my own but have hatred towards no one sounds pretty seditious. There were men out there dying because [they were told] we have to wage war on people whom we have to hate."

NigelS

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Notwithstanding Stella Rimington's assertions, fine public servant, less so an historian I prefer Gill Bennett's piece on the History of Government blog "What's The Context" yesterday

https://history.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/12/whats-the-context-12-october-2015-the-execution-of-edith-cavell/

viz;

"There have been suggestions that Cavell was involved in espionage, for which her activities on behalf of servicemen were a useful screen. There is no evidence to suggest she was working for any formal intelligence organisation, and she was not charged with espionage by the Germans. But her activities in coordinating the shelter and onward passage of Allied servicemen through Belgium were undoubtedly part of an organised resistance network. Such networks were an important feature of the intelligence landscape of the First World War."

I declare an interest in that I know Gill personally and have been fortunate to have worked with her - but I would take her considered and measured analysis over headline chasing any day.

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Of course they were part of an organised network which has been well documented - the British just prefer to forget it and believe that Edith Cavell was working entirely alone. For a fuller story of the network, of which she was just one link, read 'War Memories' by Princess Marie de Croy, freely available on the web. Marie de Croy and her brother Reginald were the main organisers and beginning of the escape chain. It's not hard to find out the full story, but there seems a reluctance to make it known in the UK.

Sue

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... It's not hard to find out the full story, but there seems a reluctance to make it known in the UK.

Indeed. Anti-German propaganda in WW1 needed events such as this, and anything else they could get their hands on, and telling the true story or revealing it post eventum detracts from the impact. Another case is the German sawback bayonet: a type of artefact originally developed in GB as a combination cutting tool and bayonet for engineers, artillerymen, and the like, but having gone out of use in GB by WW1, it's use by the Germans allowed masses of propaganda to be made about their use of this 'barbaric' weapon... The truth of the matter is that only 6% of German bayonets were of this type and their distribution was almost entirely restricted to telephone engineers, artillerymen, etc., and so hardly a regular front line 'weapon'.

Trajan

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Remembered in a period PC

The suggestion that Edith Cavell fainted at the execution site and was shot by a single pistol bullet is a complete propaganda fiction, along with the image of her prostrate as a young woman.

Philippe Baucq and Edith Cavell were each tied to a stake and shot by a firing squad in the conventional fashion.

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