On 4th December born, this nurse
A vicar's daughter, childhood tough
Ice skating was her love at first
Of his sermons she'd soon had enough.
She loved animals and the open air
And imbued with zeal to help mankind
In the Belgian Red Cross she gave care
Leaving England and Mama behind.
She helped to found a Nurses school
With Antoine Depage - a pioneer
Soon matron with an iron rule
She toiled in wartime – without fear.
Soon prevailed upon to aid
In those dark days the underground
200 allied aircrew made
Their escape - to neutral country bound.
But this was war – she was betrayed
A double-agent sealed her fate
A martyr, malgré elle, she made;
The Germans soon rued their mistake.
Though shot for treason on this day*
Just one hundred years ago
Mass volunteers soon joined the fray;
Edith's star a rosy glow.
A 10-week wait then firing squad
A single death – eternal fame
Unswerving trust in her own God;
A hospital now bears her name.**
(c) Poet in the woods 2015
* Shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915
** Hôpital Edith Cavell - in Uccle