Tag Archives: Edith Cavell

PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH – A New Play About Edith Cavell

One of our researchers Thom Jackson-Wood has written a short play based on the life, death and legacy of Edith Cavell (4th December 1865-12th October 1915), which has been shortlisted for the Herts & Essex Playwriting Festival 2019 “Write Here Write Now.” It will be performed at Hertford Theatre on Tuesday 19th February at 7.30pm as part of a showcase of new writing.

Thom researched Edith Cavell during our BRUSSELS AT DAWN project, which ran from 2013-2015, culminating in a commemoration on the centenary of her death on 12th October 2015 at St. Martin-In-The-Fields. Results of that project can be found here. EDITH CAVELL RESOUCES

Rather than tell a simple biopic, Thom has woven a modern-day storyline into the script, featuring Private Aaron Anderson, an angry disabled ex-soldier who now fights battles on Twitter, and is suspicious of everyone.

Thom says of the character “Aaron is a broken young man who has struggled to adapt to civilian life. Feeling forgotten and betrayed by his country, he tries to claim it back by campaigning to leave the EU. But beneath his rage, he is searching for an answer to give his life meaning. The life of Edith Cavell, her progressive attitude to all Europeans, and her selfless acts of bravery and her final words cause him to start rethinking his beliefs – that the world isn’t as black-and-white as he thought.”

Edith Cavell was a British nurse who pioneered modern nursing in Belgium from 1907-1915. When WWI broke out, she stayed in Brussels under German occupation to treat anyone regardless which side they were on in the conflict. However she was arrested by the German military on trumped-up charges on 10th June 1915 and she was imprisoned for ten weeks, then she was shot at dawn on 12th October 1915. Her final recorded words “Patriotism Is Not Enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” inspired the title of the play.

“Write Here Write Now” is a playwriting competition organised by Contexture Theatre, an arts company based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.

 

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REMEMBER EDITH CAVELL

Today is the anniversary of the execution in Belgium of WW1 nurse Edith Cavell.

Image created by Dave Roberts which was shown as part of the HLF exhibition at St Martin In The Fields October 2015

Our HLF project BRUSSELS AT DAWN investigated her contribution to nursing and how she ended up in Belgium running a hospital, teaching nursing and why she was arrested for espionage.

Edith Cavell Window at St Olave’s                                            Image by Michael Cheetham

We worked with the Cavell Nurses Trust, The Royal London Hospital, The Florence Nightingale Museum, Belgian Edith Cavell Commemorative Group and the Royal College of Nursing to research this extraordinary woman’s life and her contribution to nursing.

We created a puppet show, exhibitions and have a series of films (including interviews with her descendant Dr Emma Cavell and author Diana Souhami), papers and resources created by both experts and community participants.

Edith Cavell Resources

Every year someone from Unity Arts lays a rose on the Edith Cavell statue in Trafalgar Square on her birthday – 4th December.

We never want her forgotten.

Edith Cavell Birthday

Painting-Chapel-of-Hugomont-WaterlooEdith_Cavell_02Jack's Story frontec3edith-cavell statue

To close the project BRUSSELS AT DAWN we will be meeting at the Edith Cavell Statue on 4 DECEMBER 2015 at 2pm to lay some flowers. Afterwards we will look back over our research, trips and events in an informal meeting in St Martin In The Fields. We will also be distributing copies of the commemorative booklet.

Please email unityarts@hotmail.co.uk if you wish to attend or leave a reply below.

BRUSSELS AT DAWN Exhibition – Stoke Newington

Edith_Cavell_02

BRUSSELS AT DAWN is being hosted by St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 9ES 2 – 12 November to coincide with Remembrance events.

The installation will be a selection of the pieces previously exhibited at St Martin In The Fields. It is fitting that the community bring their work back to St Mary’s in Hackney as for many of our group it is their local church.

 

 

100th Anniversary Commemorations

We attended the wreath laying ceremony at Trafalgar Square. Some of our researchers dressed in WW1 nurses’ uniforms each laid a single white rose at the statue. Taking these Live Exhibits outside meant that many of the public who did not know what was going on could understand why so many had gathered to commemorate Edith Cavell.

Some attended the Cavell Nurses’ Trust event in St Martin’s Hall and we also presented the puppet show BRUSSELS AT DAWN – Jack’s Story and gave away many, many copies of our booklets.

It was a very moving day and we felt we did Edith Cavell’s memory proud.