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Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

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If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Monday, April 2, 2012

C Is For Edith Cavell

* A Note: I am in the midst of getting ready to move, so if I don't get to respond to the comments on here right away, I am very sorry. Please forgive the late responses.

Nurses are the most awesome people and one of the best, most courageous in my book is Edith Cavell. She stood firmly in her belief in helping others and never wavered. The daughter of an Anglican minister, she was always helping those less fortunate. Her call to nursing came later in life, a second career you might say. She entered the profession in 1905 at the age of forty and she took off from there. By 1907 she was the head of a newly established nursing school L'École Belge d’Infirmières Diplômées in Brussels. In 1910, she launched the nursing journal, L'infirmière. Just one year later, Edith was the training nurse for three hospitals, twenty-four schools and thirteen kindergartens.

World War I broke out in 1914, while Edith was home in England. She immediately headed back to Belgium. Here is where her courage and her unwavering belief in helping others rose to the fore and carried her into history. During the German occupation of Belgium, Edith gained a reputation for helping soldiers of both sides. It was during this time that she began helping Belgian soldiers trapped behind German lines to escape into The Netherlands, a neutral country at the time. She had been recruited by British SIS, but turned from her espionage activities in order to help soldiers escape. She helped some 200 soldiers before coming under suspicion by the German High Command. On August 3, 1915, she was arrested and sent to St. Gilles prison. She was held there for 10 weeks as she was court-martialled under German military law. A death sentence was handed down and in spite of massive protests, on October12, 1915 at 6:00AM, the sentence was carried out. Edith was executed by firing squad along with one of the men who helped her with the soldiers, Philippe Bauq, a Belgian architect.

Edith went to her death bravely, saying to Reverend Stirling Gahan, "Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." The international furor over her death was enormous and she was used in many propaganda campaigns during the rest of the war. Many memorials were established in her honor, but one of the coolest comes from Canada. Mount Edith Cavell stands near Athabasca Pass in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. They named a mountain after her, how impressive is that?

Fun Female Factoid

One of the world's first novels, The Tale Genji, was written by a Japanese noblewoman, Murasaki Shikibu in 1000 AD.

Thanks for stopping by during this awesome challenge. Please visit the other awesome participants by clicking here.


47 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this information about Edith Cavell. She certainly seems like a woman to be admired.

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    1. Hi Clare!

      I found out about Edith during the course of my research for a story. She stunned me. I'm happy you enjoyed reading about her.

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  2. My goodness. I feel like I'll be saying that a lot this month. Poor woman.

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    1. I find myself saying the same thing, Rusty. These women are all impressive.

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  3. So many amazing women! I am glad you are sharing their stories this month!

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    1. Thanks Andi! I'm so happy you're enjoying the posts.

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  4. It is the picture of her that gets me. Her face is almost daring. Great entry!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I know what you mean. Her face is defiant almost.

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  5. Not many willing to die for what they believe in or doing the right thing.

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    1. Too true, Alex. Dying for what you believe in is an extraordinary sacrifice not many would be able to make.

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  6. Hi, I read about Edith Cavell when I was just a girl and found her to be extremely interesting. Haven't thought about her in years. Thank you for reminding me of her. Best regards to you,
    Ruby

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    1. Hi Ruby! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit and I'm happy I brought Edit back into your thoughts. She really was so amazing. Warm regards to you as well and have a terrific week.

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  7. she was a brave woman!
    Sooo excited about you moving, I do expect pics from the new place ;)

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    1. That she was, Dez. I knew you would like her.

      And of course you'll be getting to see some pics. I can't wait to show off my home.

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    1. Edith was extraordinary, wasn't she? Glad you liked reading about her. :)

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  9. This is one I've missed in the past. Thanks so much for sharing her story. Love this about the challenge - meeting great new bloggers and learning new things.
    Karen

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    1. You are so welcome, Karen. This challenge really is the greatest, isn't it? I agree, I love meeting new bloggers and making new friends.

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  10. love all this historical fun, thank you!

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    1. Melissa, this series is totally awesome! You will have a book ready to publish by the end of April. Best of luck on your move.

      Kathy M.

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    2. You're welcome, Sandra! I'm so happy you're enjoying the posts. :)

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    3. Aww.. thanks, Kathy! You are the best. :) A book just may be percolating in my brain. you never know.

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  11. Wow. That's a tough balance to handle. Espionage and nursing.

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    1. I know, right? I think that may qualify Edith as a superhero.

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  12. Go girls! I am trying to visit all the blogs in the A-Z Challenge

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    1. Thanks and best of luck on visiting all the blogs. You go! :)

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  13. love your theme! look forward to the rest of the women!!! :D

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I hope you'll enjoy the rest of my posts. :)

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  14. Amazing woman! Thanks for sharing her story! :)

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    1. You are most welcome, Cat! I'm happy you enjoyed reading about Edith.

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  15. This is such a wonderful story and Edith Cavell led an amazing life! It's a shame it had to end so tragically. Best of luck with your move Melissa! Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie! Edith really was a amazing woman and she left a great, humbling example for all of us.

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  16. What a great tribute. Thanks, Melissa.

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    1. Thank you, Joshua. I'm so happy you are enjoying my little mini spotlights on all these great women.

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  17. WOW! What a brave woman--to know you are going to be executed by helping others, I can't even imagine a life like that!
    Good luck with your move!

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    1. I can't, either, Tracy. I got the chills when I first read Edith's story.

      Thanks you so much for the good luck wishes. :)

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  18. Melissa, I so love this theme...I just keep coming back every day. It is inspiring to me to read about these women. Hope you are having a good week!

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    1. Aww... You made my week with your words. I love reading about strong women, it comes from always being shown the male side of things in school.

      I hope your week is terrific as well. :)

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  19. How awesome that they named a mountain after Edith. I couldn't help but be inspired that she took up nursing as a second career. As someone who is trying to start a new career in my 40s, that spoke to me right away.

    A tragic story, but inspiring to read about such a brave woman. I really love your theme!

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie! That means a lot to me.

      I was inspired by that part of Edith's story as well. I'm trying to re-invent myself now that I'm in my forties and reading Edith's story is inspiring for that alone. :)

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  20. She is an inspiration - your theme is really rocking with such great people. Keep it up!

    Jamie Gibbs
    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

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    1. Thank you, Jamie. Your support means a lot to me. :)

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  21. I knew a little bit about Edith Cavell, but I had it in my head that she had survived the war. How sad that she didn't.

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  22. Another wonderful choice - I like that you're running the gamut from adventurers to healers. Cheers!

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  23. Wowza, the comment Edith made about patriotism is just awesome. I really wish I heard of this wonderful person before.

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