NNUH represented at poignant services for nurse Edith Cavell
Poignant services to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Edith Cavell’s funeral at Westminster Abbey and burial at Norwich Cathedral were attended by NNUH staff and the Nurses’ League on Wednesday.
A mid-day service at Westminster Abbey, which also celebrated the life of Florence Nightingale, was followed by an evening service of commemoration at Norwich Cathedral for the nurse hero from World War One, Edith Cavell, who cared for all the wounded regardless of nationality.
Her name lives on at NNUH with Chief Nurse Nancy Fontaine having just launched the annual Edith Cavell Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nursing and Midwifery.
Professor Fontaine attended the Westminster Abbey service and escorted the centennial Edith Cavell banner with Heather Moss (Senior Sister in the Jack Prior Renal Unit).
Other NNUH staff included Alice Cook (Jenny Lind Practice Development Nurse), Anastasia Friend (Trainee Nursing Associate in the Dermatology Department) and midwife Nadine Barton (Florence Nightingale Foundation scholarship).
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, led the Norwich Cathedral service which concluded at Nurse Cavell’s grave.
One wreath placed on her grave said: “In loving memory of Edith Cavell from Norfolk nurses everywhere” while another was from the NNUH Nurses’ League.
Prof Fontaine said of the London service: “It was really beautiful, 100 years to the day of Nurse Cavell’s burial. It was emotional, inspiring and uplifting.
“The Matrons in Chief from the three military services presented the roll of honour for nurses who have died in service.
“The service was magnificent and inspirational for all nurses and midwives, and those in training. It makes you realise how amazing our professions are.
“The Rev Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, did a fantastic speech about Edith Cavell and her work in empowering clinical practice. Edith Cavell continues to inspire contemporary nursing.”
Alice, Heather and Anastasia were chosen to go to the Westminster Abbey service through nominations submitted by colleagues and line managers. The judging panel included Prof Fontaine and Nurses’ League President Mary Dolding.
“They were chosen for their commitment to improving patient experience and improving clinical standards,” said Prof Fontaine.