One of First World War nurse Edith Cavell's final letters given to Norwich Cathedral

Watch a report here by ITV Anglia's Kate Prout


One of Edith Cavell's final handwritten letters has been given to Norwich cathedral for Armistice Day.

It was sent by the First World War nurse to her mother in 1915, just months before she was executed by the Germans.

The four-page letter was gifted to Norwich Cathedral by Greg Stewart, from Canada, who was given the correspondence by the late poet and playwright Roger Frith.

My dearest love to you & all the family. I am looking forward to a happy meeting later on. Ever your affectionate daughter.

Edith Cavell, 26 July 1915
She famously said the day before her execution: ʺPatriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.ʺ Credit: Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral

“Nurse Cavell’s letter is a wonderful gift that will be treasured by Norwich Cathedral", The Revd Dr Peter Doll said.

"It gives real insight into her life and activities just prior to her arrest, revealing her professional concern for her patients and for the completion of the new building for the nursing school and clinic she directed.

“Here also is Edith the loving daughter, ensuring that her mother is the beneficiary of the pension she has established, and reminding her of happy family holidays in West Runton, Norfolk. Edith the dog-lover shares her concern about her aging sheepdog Jack.

“Nurse Cavell’s letter is of immense historical value and our intention is for the letter to go on public display in the Cathedral at some point in the near future and to ensure that it is safely preserved for generations to come.”

The grave of Edith Cavell at Norwich Cathedral Credit: Bill Smith/ Norwich Cathedral

The Swardeston-born nurse is remembered for caring for soldiers from both sides. 

She was shot on 12 October 1915 for helping several hundred allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium.

Her body was returned to the UK and buried at the cathedral in 1919.

She became a national heroine whose death inspired tens of thousands to join up for the war effort.

Her father, the Revd Frederick Cavell, was the vicar of Swardeston Church for 46 years until 1909, when he retired and moved to Norwich with Edith’s mother.