Background to the Interpretation Board

Background to the board

The photograph of the Cavell Statue by George Swain is one of a set taken on the occasion of the unveiling of the statue on October 12 1918 and the subsequent opening of the Cavell Rest Home for Nurses. It is ©Alpha Photo Press Library. Tel: +44 02(0) 7253 7705 Email: Their permission to use it is much appreciated. The full series of 15 photographs of the occasion can be seen in the Norfolk Record Office at County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH. Their catalogue reference is N/LM2/1

The photograph of the Cavell Rest Home is a copy of one held by the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich. The Rest Home was later taken over and became part of the hotel.

Other acknowledgements

The interpretation board layout was created by Norwich City Council and installed through them. We are extremely grateful for their help and expertise. The board and stand were produced by Shelley Signs (

Permission for the installation of the board was obtained from Historic England (Eastern Region).

Copyright of the background 1918 photograph is the property of Alpha Photo Press Ltd.
Tel: +44 02(0) 7253 7705 Email: who kindly allowed its use.

Text of the meeting between Edith Cavell and  Revd Stirling Gahan in her prison cell on October 11 1915 quoted on the interpretation board comes from Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, as quoted at

The photograph of Colonel Boger, the Cheshire Regiment, is sourced from Rowland Ryder’s book Edith Cavell, 1975. Those of the two Norfolk soldiers have been used with permission from the Norfolk Regimental Museum’s website where their stories can be found This Museum is now in Norwich Castle.

Their stories have been told briefly here  – more details can be found as indicated.

More on the statue’s history 

Henry Pegram RA (see   sculpted the Cavell statue for autumn 1918. It was funded by public subscription. In 1905 Pegram had sculpted the statue of another famous Norfolk figure, Sir Thomas Browne, which is situated by St Peter Mancroft church in the centre of Norwich.

Initially the Cavell statue was set up in the middle of Tombland, in front of the Maid’s Head Hotel. It was paid for by public subscription. Later it was moved to its current location beside the Erpingham Gate to the Cathedral. Queen Alexandra unveiled the statue on the third anniversary of Edith’s execution, October 12 1918. She then opened the sixth  and last Cavell Rest Home for Nurses next to the Maids Head. This is now part of the Maids Head Hotel. This too was paid for by public subscription: the work it was doing supporting nurses in difficult times carries on today under the auspices of the Cavell Nurses Trust (

A further statue of Edith was designed by sculptor Sir George Frampton RA (1860-1928). This was erected just off Trafalgar Square in London and was unveiled by Queen Alexandra on 12th October 1920.