Princess Royal praises Norfolk heroine Edith Cavell
06:00 22 March 2014
A senior clergyman from Norwich Cathedral enjoyed a royal date when he attended a ceremony in London where the Princess Royal praised the “ethos” of Norfolk nurse Edith Cavell.
The Rev Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian of Norwich Cathedral, met the Princess Royal following an invitation from national nursing charity, Cavell Nurses’ Trust.
The trust, which supports current and former nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in financial need or ill-health, is named after First World War nursing heroine Edith Cavell.
Edith, from Swardeston, where her father the Rev Frederick Cavell was vicar for 45 years, was executed in 1915 for helping 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium.
The Princess Royal was guest of honour at the event, held at Fishmongers Hall, London Bridge, which marked the culmination of the prestigious 2013/14 Cavell Nurses’ Trust Scholarship Awards.
Her Royal Highness, who presented one of the awards, is president of the Edith Cavell Centenary Appeal, which aims to raise £3m by October 2015, to double the number of beneficiaries which Cavell Nurses’ Trust currently supports. Dr Doll, who is responsible for the ministry of learning at Norwich Cathedral, said: “I found the scope of the work done by the trust very impressive and very much carrying on in the spirit of what Edith offered because she was a pioneer in nursing education.”
The Princess Royal, in addressing the invited audience, said: “As we move into the centenary of the beginning of the First World War you wonder what on earth you are celebrating, but with Edith Cavell you have a lot to celebrate and the example she set and the way people responded to that.”
She also spoke about the “ethos” that Edith Cavell had, “the real role she had in caring and the real difference that made. Edith Cavell had so little to work with but what a difference she made in the name of humanity.
“And that is something we really can afford to celebrate in the next few years.”
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