In the wake of the furore surrounding the brand new First World War commemorative £2 featuring Lord Kitchener, a few ideas have been mooted as to who else should be included in the five-year commemorative coin series from outbreak through to armistice.
Kitchener’s famous finger pointing at the reader and his call ‘Your Country Needs You’ has been branded by critics as jingoistic and a glorification of war rather than a reflection on the sheer loss of life which occurred.
The Royal Mint has confirmed that future designs would include other figures connected with the war, but have remained tight-lipped on who these figures will be.
Edith Cavell is amongst the most popular suggestions, and a petition with over 35,000 in signatures has added considerable weight to the case.
Born as the daughter of a vicar in 1865, Edith Cavell was the wartime nurse who was executed for providing care to wounded soldiers irrespective of their nationality. She, along with Belgian and French colleagues helped over 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. She was arrested by a German military court, found guilty of ‘assisting men to the enemy’ and despite worldwide condemnation, was shot by a German firing squad on 12 October 1915.
Patriotism is not enough…
Her last words were “I realise that patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”
Thousands of people lined the streets for her funeral procession before she was buried at Norwich Cathedral.
Sioned-Mair Richards, the Sheffield Labour Councillor who started the petition believes Cavell was ‘simply a nurse trying to do her duty, and should be honoured by her country as a woman who was one of the best’.
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