Edith Louisa Cavell was a British nurse and patriot. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from all sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested. She was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage.
She is well known for her statement that "patriotism is not enough". Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, "I canít stop while there are lives to be saved." October 12 is appointed for her commemoration in the Anglican church, although this is not a "saint's feast day" in the traditional sense.
Edith Cavell, who was 49 at the time of her execution, was already notable as a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium.