her working life Edith Cavell was known as quiet, strict,
kind, well liked, but self sufficient without many
friends. One colleague wrote ‘I knew Miss Cavell
almost as well after our first meeting as I did at
the end of the two years when she left Shoreditch.
I liked her. I admired her unswerving sense of duty.
But I never felt close to her.’
A strict Anglican childhood nurtured Edith Cavell’s
intense sense of duty and her determination. The constraints
of middleclass Edwardian life developed a habit of
self- restraint, which was more common then. But, there
is no doubt that Edith’s strong Christian faith
was a huge influence on her life and may explain her
apparent lack of need for friends.
She was part of the escape network in Brussels because
she believed it was her duty to do it. Because she
believed it was right, she could not stop, even when
it became obvious that she would be caught.