Louisa Cavell born in 1865, was the eldest
daughter of the vicar of Swardeston, Norfolk.
At fourteen she went away from a narrow
and restricted home life to a series of
schools including Norwich High School.
After a few governess posts, including
the Gurney family at Keswick Hall and the
Barclay family at Colney Hall, she had
the opportunity to travel to Europe and
became governess to a wealthy family in
Brussels. Here she became fluent in French.
When her father became very ill in 1895,
she returned to England. It was then, at
the age of 32 that she thought of nursing.