Historical information

Edith Cavell was born in England in 1865 and trained as a nurse in the late 1890s. She was also an accomplished linguist, musician and artist. In 1907 she was assisted in establishing a modern nursing system at the Berkendael Medical Institute in Brussels. At the outbreak of World War One she was left in charge of the hospital and what is now known as the Red Cross. During that time she assisted more than 200 Belgian, British and French soldiers who had been separated from their armies, or who had escaped German detention. In 1915, she was accused of conspiring to help prisoners escape, and was tried by a military court in Brussels. She was convicted and sentenced to death, along with four others. Cavell was executed by firing squad on 12 October 1915; she was still wearing her nurse’s uniform. Her body was returned to England in 1919, where a full military service was conducted at Westminster Abbey.

Physical description

colour photograph unmounted

Inscriptions & markings

Base of the bust: Edith Cavell 1865-1915
Plaque on the plinth: Restored and located in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens in recognition of his mayoral year 1985-86. John Callanan, JP, Mayor. St Kilda Garden Festival 26th October 1986