Chancellor to ensure sacrifice of WWI nurse is ‘honoured’
George Osborne has told MPs he will discuss the idea of issuing a coin to commemorate First World War nurse Edith Cavell “directly” with the Royal Mint.
A series of £2 coins are due to be released over the next four years to mark the centenary of the First World War. One has already been issued featuring Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, the minster for war who famously appeared on army recruitment posters.
Campaigners have been calling for one of the coins to feature Ms Cavell, as previously reported by Nursing Times. A petition supporting the move was signed by 100,000 people and delivered to the Treasury in May.
Ms Cavell was executed in 2015 after helping around 200 allied soldiers escape from German captivity.
So far the Royal Mint has kept its plans for the other coin designs close to its chest.
However, the issue was raised last Tuesday with Mr Osborne during questions in the House of Commons. The chancellor also holds the title of master of the Royal Mint.
Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central, told the house that next year would mark 100 years since the execution of the “brave nurse who saved countless lives during world war one”.
He asked: “Will the chancellor join me and the 110,000 people who have signed an online petition and urge the Royal Mint to mark the anniversary by including Edith Cavell on its list of designs for the new £2 coin, so that we can honour all those who served and made sacrifices for our country in different ways a century ago?”
In response, Mr Osborne said: “I am certainly aware of the campaign, and I of course honour the bravery and sacrifice of Edith Cavell.
“There will be a whole series of coins to commemorate the First World War, some of which will be in general circulation and some of which will be for collectors,” he said.
“Like previous governments, we act on the advice of a Royal Mint advisory committee on these topics, but I will directly take up with it the suggestion of marking Edith Cavell’s sacrifice and make sure that it is honoured in an appropriate way,” told the house.