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WWI nurse Edith Cavell to feature on £5 commemorative coin

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The life of First World War nurse Edith Cavell is to be marked on a new commemorative £5 coin, it was announced on Saturday.

The coin forms part of a commemorative set marking the outbreak of the war, some of which have already been released, including one featuring Lord Kitchener.

Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell

The Cavell coin will be issued by the Royal Mint in 2015 to mark the centenary the nurse’s death.

The announcement follows a campaign started by Sheffield City Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards.

An online petition drew support from over 110,000 people, including relatives of Edith Cavell and descendants of some of the soldiers she helped to save.

Last month chancellor George Osborne also pledged to look into the idea of a coin to commemorate the British nurse who worked in German-occupied Belgium during the First World War.

She saved the lives of soldiers from both sides, and was tried for treason and executed for helping Allied troops escape across the border to the Netherlands. She was aged 49 when she was shot in October 1915.

“She really deserves to be remembered in this way as she was ultimate heroine from a nursing perspective during the First World War”

Kate Tompkins

Kate Tompkins, chief executive of Cavell Nurses’ Trust, described the new coin as a “marvellous tribute” to the charity’s namesake.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the decision. She really deserves to be remembered in this way as she was ultimate heroine from a nursing perspective during the First World War. She gave her life for others.

“Her famous instructions to her nurses to care for every soldier, regardless of nationality, that they were somebody’s son, husband or father, shows the true extent of her care and compassion,” she added.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust helps nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have fallen on hard times for many reasons. It was set up in 1917 from public donations following the death of Edith Cavell.

Ms Cavell is only the second non-Royal woman to be featured on a commemorative coin, the other being none other than Florence Nightingale.

The new coin was announced by Nicky Morgan, financial secretary to the Treasury and minister for women.

Ms Morgan said: “I’m pleased that Edith Cavell will be commemorated on a new £5 coin – she showed true bravery by helping injured soldiers, regardless of their nationality, and it is right that she should be honoured as a British hero.”


New coin to feature Lord Kitchener

One of the new coins features Lord Kitchener

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