The monument to Edith Cavell at Norwich Cathedral, where the Norfolk-born nurse was reburied in 1919 (Photo © Paul Hurst - All Rights Reserved)

Edith Cavell Centenary - Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral

Posted on on 15 September 2015
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Centenary News highlights forthcoming events at Norwich Cathedral in this preview of UK commemorations marking the centenary of Edith Cavell's execution in occupied Belgium.

October's remembrance includes a commemoration at her graveside and BBC radio broadcasts of two cathedral services. 

'The Passion of Edith Cavell,' a commissioned exhibition of 14 paintings, is already on display at the cathedral.

Edith Cavell, a British nurse, was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium on October 12th 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape to the neutral Netherlands.

The daughter of a Church of England vicar, she was born in the Norfolk village of Swardeston near Norwich in 1865. 

After training and working as nurse in Britain, she was invited to become director of  Belgium's first training school for nurses by the surgeon, Dr Antoine Depage*, in 1907. 

Edith Cavell was visiting her widowed mother in Norwich when the First World War broke out in August 1914. She returned to Belgium, saying 'at a time like this, I am needed more than ever.'

Her body was brought back to Britain in 1919 and reburied at Norwich Cathedral following a funeral service at Westminster Abbey and procession through the streets of London.

Summary of commemorations at Norwich Cathedral:

*Choral Evensong (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), Wednesday 7 October, 3.30pm.

*Graveside Commemoration, Saturday 10 October, 11.00am.

*Sunday Worship (broadcast on BBC Radio 4) Sunday 11 October, 8.10am.

*Commemorative Service, Monday 12 October, 6.00pm. Preacher: The Bishop.


A commissioned exhibition of 14 paintings by Brian Whelan on ‘The Passion of Edith Cavell: The Way of the Cross’ will be on display at the cathedral from Friday 4 September - Thursday 22 October.

Music and concerts

The story of Edith Cavell will be re-told through words and music in Remember Edith Cavell, performed by Searchlight Theatre Co, the Cathedral Consort and Cavell orchestra on Saturday 10 October (3.00pm and 7.30pm). Ticket information from the Cathedral Gift Shop (01603 218323) and Prelude Records (01603 628319).


A walk/cycle route has been designed between Swardeston and Norwich Cathedral, linking some of the significant locations in Edith Cavell's early life with her final resting place at Norwich Cathedral. A trail map with further information can be viewed here

New Memorial

A new memorial commissioned by the cathedral is to be created by award-winning lettercutter, typographer and sculptor, Wayne Hart, summer artist in residence at the King's Lynn Arts Centre. 

More information about events taking place in Norwich and Norfolk can be found here. Commemorations are also planned in London at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Trafalgar Square church close to her memorial.

Centenary News has already previewed events in Belgium organised by the Belgian Edith Cavell Commemoration Group

*Dr Antoine Depage's wife, Marie, was among the passengers lost when the British liner, Lusitania, was torpedoed in May 1915, three months before the arrest of Edith Cavell. Marie Depage had been fundraising in America for a Belgian hospital treating wounded soldiers. 

Source: event listing courtesy of Norwich Cathedral

Photo courtesy of Paul Hurst © All Rights Reserved

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News