100,000 People Asked For This WW1 Heroine To Go On The £2 Coin And It Might Actually Happen

The campaign to put nurse Edith Cavell on a commemorative coin could succeed. People want more than Lord Kitchener.

1. A British nurse who was executed after helping hundreds of Allied soldiers escape Europe during World War One, could appear on a commemorative WW1 coin after 110,000 people signed a petition calling for her inclusion.

Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in 1915 after helping hundreds of Allied servicemen escape from occupied Europe. The campaign organisers want her to be recognised for “giving succour to all wounded soldiers regardless of nationality”.

The campaign to recognise Cavell has been taken up by Dan Jarvis, a Labour MP. He raised the issue in parliament, telling chancellor George Osborne Britain should “honour all those who served and made sacrifices for our country in different ways” and also “address the fact that women are still far too outnumbered on our currency by men”.

As a result Osborne has promised to “directly take up” the idea with the Royal Mint and ensure Cavell “is honoured in an appropriate way”. Since Osborne is in charge of the Royal Mint this makes it very likely to happen.

2. The Cavell petition began after it was announced that former war secretary Lord Kitchener would appear on the coin.

Royal Mint

Cavell’s supporters felt the coins should also commemorate war heroes who wanted peace. And for once the government seems to be listening.

3. But you might be waiting a while for the coin itself – they’re going to be released in batches over the next five years.

You can still sign the petition here.

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