Descendants of Edith Cavell delivered a 100,000 strong petition to the Treasury yesterday, calling for the nurse’s commemoration on a £2 coin to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.
A series of £2 coins are due to be released by the Royal Mint to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.
It has already issued a coin featuring Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, the minster for war who famously appeared on army recruitment posters.
“We should be celebrating this extraordinary woman. I hope the treasury does the right thing”
The campaigners, who include former nurse and comedian Jo Brand, say the centenary should celebrate figures such as Edith Cavell who advocated peace.
Ms Cavell was executed in 2015 after helping around 200 allied soldiers escape from German captivity.
As previously reported by Nursing Times, Sioned-Mair Richards, a Labour councillor from Sheffield, started the online petition on 2 January for a coin to feature Ms Cavell.
It calls on the Treasury to issue a coin with the face of Edith Cavell on it to “commemorate a woman who did her duty during the First World War, a duty not just to country but to all humankind”.
Ms Richards said: “Edith Cavell was a nurse who treated soldiers from both sides, helping scores of service men escape back to allied territory and ultimately paid the price for her heroism. We should be celebrating this extraordinary woman. I hope the treasury does the right thing.”
Among those delivering the petition, were two of Ms Cavell’s youngest descendants – 10-year-old Kit and 14-year-old Pip.
Pip said: “I think more kids should know who she is, because she is a real role model who put other people’s lives before hers. I want to be a nurse like her when I grow up. I hope the government will listen and commemorate my amazing relative.”
The Royal Mint has said the Kitchener design is not the only one planned but has so far failed to respond to the campaign’s request for Ms Cavell to be commemorated.