Cavell, Edith (kăvˈəl) [key], 1865–1915, English nurse. When World War I broke out, she was head of the nursing staff of the Berkendael Medical Institute in Brussels. In 1915 she was arrested by the German occupation authorities and pleaded guilty to a charge of harboring and aiding Allied prisoners and assisting some 130 to cross the Dutch frontier. She was shot on Oct. 11, 1915, despite the efforts of Brand Whitlock, U.S. minister to Belgium, to secure a reprieve.
See biography by A. E. Clark-Kennedy (1965).
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