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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Edith Cavell

b. 1865, Swardeston, England; d. 1915, Brussels

Edith Cavell, British nurse, headed the Berkendael Medical Institute’s nursing school in Brussels from 1907 to 1915. When World War I broke out and Germany invaded Belgium, Cavell’s hospital became a Red Cross center, caring for German soldiers and Allied troops. Cavell joined a covert group that helped Allied soldiers and other refugees escape occupied Belgium. She was captured by the Germans on July 31, 1915, and executed in October of that year. Her body was exhumed and returned to England in May 1919.