Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Edith Cavell and Canadian Nurses, Toronto, ON

British nurse Edith Cavell was executed on October 12, 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. Her death became a rallying cry for the Allies.

The Edith Cavell Memorial Society in Toronto raised money for a memorial to Cavell and Canadian nurses, and sought permission from the Toronto General Hospital to place it on the hospital grounds at the SE corner of College and University Avenues. Florence Wyle was chosen to design the sculpture. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Edith Cavell Monument, London, UK

One hundred years ago today, on 12 October 1915, British nurse Edith Cavell was executed for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. Her death became a rallying cry for the Allies.

This 10 foot white marble statue of Cavell stands against a grey granite cross in St Martin’s Place, opposite the National Portrait Gallery, in London. A woman and child at the top of the cross symbolise Humanity, and Britain protecting Belgium. On the woman’s skirt is a Geneva cross, symbol of the Red Cross. It was designed by Sir George Frampton and unveiled by Queen Alexandra in March 1920.

“Brussels, dawn, October 12th 1915” notes the time Cavell was executed. “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone”, words she spoke on the eve of her execution, were added in 1924.

Faithful until death, devotion, fortitude and sacrifice are inscribed on other sides of the monument.

Observant folks will recognize the face of Cavell’s statue as my avatar.

British Pathé has posted a vast collection of its newsreels about WW1. You can watch the statue being placed here, and the statue being unveiled here and here.


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Mount Edith Cavell, Alberta

Mt Edith Cavell

Mt Edith Cavell

Mount Edith Cavell, near Jasper

Mount Edith Cavell, near Jasper

We think of monuments being conceived by human minds and wrought by human hands. This monument was wrought by nature.

British nurse Edith Cavell was executed on October 12, 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park, Alberta, was named for her in 1916. At 3368 metres high, Mount Edith Cavell is one of the dominant peaks at the north end of the Icefields Parkway. A spectacular view on one of the world’s most beautiful drives.