Why Famous: Edith Cavell was already a respected nurse as Matron of Belgium's first teaching hospital for nurses when World War I broke out in 1914. When her hospital was turned into a war hospital to treat soldiers she gained a name for treating both German and Allied soldiers equally.
When the German advanced took control of Belgium and her hospital she helped smuggle Allied troops out of Belgium though an underground tunnel in the hospital. German forces became suspicious and she was arrested in 1915. After confessing Cavell was tried at court martial, found guilty and sentenced to death along with others involved in the network. Despite international outrage she was executed by firing squad, then legal under international law.
After her death Cavell became a symbol of the Allied cause. When the war ended Cavell's body was repatriated and a service was held in Westminster Abbey before being buried in Norwich Cathedral.
- 1915-10-07 English nurse Edith Cavell sentenced to death along with 34 others by German court martial for running underground network to free Allied soldiers
- 1915-10-12 Despite international protest, Edith Cavell an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by the Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners