Today is the anniversary of the execution in Belgium of WW1 nurse Edith Cavell.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
A team visited Diana Souhami in her home this month. She kindly gave us a succession of interviews and allowed us to film and photograph the process. We will be posting the full interview here on the website.
As part of our research we are gathering interviews about Edith Cavell’s life from the Belgian perspective. Edith Cavell is venerated in Brussels and the Belgian Ambassador in London is a supporter at many Cavell Nurses’ Trust Events.