Recent New Material on Edith Cavell

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New book by Katie Pickles

Transnational Outrage: The Death and Commemoration of Edith Cavell, Katie Pickles, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 edn.

This book by a New Zealand professor of history reviews the impact of Edith Cavell’s execution across the world, especially in the British Empire. The author considers in detail the place of the Cavell story in WWI and its memorialisation and the importance of a woman’s story in WWI memory.


A book on Edith by Terri Arthur

The US nurse Terri Arthur has long been a Cavell enthusiast. In 2011 she published a substantial historical novel retelling the Cavell story Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell World War I Nurse. In June 2017 she published an illustrated 78 page book  telling the story for 8-10 year olds Edith Cavell Nurse Hero (£10.95; $11.95)). Her publisher is HenschelHaus in the US – contact them for details of both books (

A 1903 painting by Edith Cavell

A watercolour purchased in a second hand shop in Sheringham, Norfolk in 1965 for 1 shilling was painted by Edith Cavell. It is dated 18/2/1903 and initialled EC in the bottom right hand corner. It was painted whilst she worked at the St Pancras Poor Law Institution. She and a colleague, whose home was in Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, were known to have taken long walks out of London. The old building depicted is probably one they came across on their walks. If you have any suggestions about the building’s whereabouts please send them to

Revd Stirling Gahan’s books

A contact in Leicestershire has recently generously donated Rev Stirling Gahan’s copy of Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan and other material on the Gahans. Stirling Gahan was the Anglican chaplain in Brussels in World War I and spent time with Edith in her cell the night before her death. These items are accessible via the Archive.

An opera telling Edith’s story

A Maltese researcher focusing on the works of Maltese composer Paolino Vassallo (1856-1923) has been looking for the scores of the three act opera which he wrote on Edith Cavell. It was performed in Malta in 1927, four years after his death.

After a long search the third of three leather-bound manuscript volumes of the opera has been found! The 300 A3 pages of manuscript score have all been transcribed for reproduction and a piano accompaniment version produced. The opera will be heard for the first time in nearly 100 years on May 16 2020 in the Piazza Teatru Ryal in Valletta Malta in a concert version. Plans are in hand to perform it in the UK in 2021, with a hope of a subsequent fully staged production. Further information from: 

Statuettes of Edith Cavell 1918

The 2019 Cavell Flower Festival featured a collection of statuettes sold after the unveiling of the two statues of Edith Cavell in Tombland Norwich (1918) and St Martin’s Plain London (1920). See this document.

Lighters and matches featuring Edith Cavell 1916

A contact from South Dakota in the USA asked if anything was known about a lighter he foudn when digging near his home. See what has emerged since here.