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Cavell, Edith

(1865-1915), an English nurse. Trained at London Hospital, in 1907 she was named head of a nurses training school in Brussels, with the task of raising nursing standards to match those of Britain. By 1912, the school offered a 3-year intensive course and was associated with four hospitals in Brussels. After the Germans occupied Belgium in World War I, she nursed or sheltered more than 200 fleeing soldiers and helped them reach Holland. To her, this was an extension of her nursing: helping those in need. For this, she was arrested by the Germans, tried, and shot on October 12, 1915. Her execution, which she met with courage and fortitude, brought her widespread fame.