Commemorating Edith Cavell 1865-1915 – Wed 18 Oct 23

On Wednesday 12 October, invited guests, members of the public and around 17 Freemen and Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Nurses gathered at the statue of Edith Cavell in Trafalgar Square to commemorate her life and contribution to nursing.

She is celebrated for treating wounded soldiers from both sides of the First World War without discrimination, and for covertly helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium.  The annual memorial service was led by the Chair of the Trustees at Cavell, Susan Gostick.  Prayers and a reading were led by The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London and an Honorary Freeman of our Company. Those present sang Cavell’s favourite hymn, ‘Abide with me’, and a minute’s silence was held.

Wreaths were laid by a Trustee of Cavell, the Ambassador of the Belgian Embassy in London, the Mayor of Westminster Council, Christine Taylor from the Nightingale Fellowship and others. The Master, Elizabeth Bardolph, laid a wreath on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Nurses and the Immediate Past Master Julia Mingay, laid another on behalf of the Company of Nurses Charitable Trust. The Royal London Hospital was represented by two nurses dressed in their traditional uniforms. It was a moving service for a courageous nurse.

“I can't stop while there are lives to be saved”

“Patriotism is not enough.  I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” E. Cavell.