More than 50,000 people have now signed a petition calling for nursing heroine Edith Cavell to feature on a new £2 commemorative coin.
The Treasury will be issuing a coin featuring Field Marshall Lord Kitchener to mark this year’s centenary of the outbreak of World War I, as reported by Nursing Times last week.
But earlier this month Sheffield City councillor Sioned-Mair Richards started a campaign for the coin to feature Edith Cavell instead. Her online petition, set up on 2 January, calls for the coin to commemorate a woman who did her duty “not just to country but to all humankind”.
It had already attracted around 30,000 signatures by 12 January and had reached 40,000 just five days later on 17 January. It passed 50,000 signatures on 24 January.
Edith Cavell is celebrated for treating soldiers from both sides without distinction and helping over 200 allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, for which she was arrested and subsequently executed by firing squad.
Ms Richards said: “The Lord Kitchener represents all I loath about the First World War – the jingoism, the sheer waste of men. Then I thought of Edith Cavell, a heroine of my early childhood. The nurse who was executed for giving succour to all wounded soldiers regardless of nationality.
“In the year in which we commemorate the First World War she should be honoured by her country as a woman who was one of the best,” she said.
After the petition reached 50,000 on Friday, she added: “Just wanted to thank all those people who have signed and thank them too for the lovely comments left as to why the Edith Cavell coin is needed. It is good to know that I am not alone in my thoughts about the Kitchener coin.”
The Royal Mint has indicated that future coin designs will include other figures connected with the war, but is yet to reveal who they will be.
Are you able to Speak Out Safely?
Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.