World War One:
A distant memory
Nurse Edith Cavell
(All images © 2006 Jeff Jonas)
War Propaganda and German atrocities
The English Nurse, Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in 1915 and inspired my Grandfather to join the war. The artifact above is a scan of the Funerary Card given out at her memorial service at Westminster Abbey on May 15 1919. The King attended the memorial service, I don't know if my Grandfather did, but the fact that he kept this item, seems to point to the idea that he did attend.
Nurse Cavell was working at a hospital in Belgium as the Germans
advanced in August 1914. She helped British and Allied soldiers to escape the Germans.
When caught she was tried and then executed by firing squad. This was one of the events that allowed the British propaganda service to demonize the Germans. After this the Germans were outwardly called the Huns or the Bosche in the press. News like this affected the colonials like my Grandfather and they signed up in droves. Propaganda was now one of the new tools of warfare- granted in this case the Germans really made a huge blunder in executing this woman (even though by international law they were justified.
The links below detail the story, and the aftermath, including the
memorial service, and movies made about Edith Cavell. I was shocked to see how famous she
was... I thought this was just another obscure artifact in my Grandfather's portfolio....
Nurse Edith Cavell links:
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