Edith Cavell: Nurse, Patriot, and Martyr

Memorial to Cavell outside Norwich Cathedral

Memorial to Cavell outside Norwich Cathedral

A hundred years ago, today, Nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans. She was convicted of helping British and French soldiers escape back to their forces. There was in truth no doubt of her guilt. She forthrightly admitted it. She had been nursing both Allied and German soldiers equally.

Her execution rather shocked the world, the United States, still in 1915, the Great Neutral, had tried to save her from execution, but the Germans were adamant. Looking back, it’s rather hard not to feel some sympathy with them; it doesn’t make much sense, at least to us today, to let a woman go for something one would execute a man for. But the world of 2015 is not the world of 1915, and it shocked the world. It was helped to be shocked by the efforts of Wellington House, the British propaganda unit, but it had a basis in what our people believed. Here is a bit more from Wikipedia:

In November 1914, after the German occupation of Brussels, Cavell began sheltering British soldiers and funnelling them out of occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands. Wounded British and French soldiers and Belgian and French civilians of military age were hidden from the Germans and provided with false papers by Prince Reginald de Croy at his château of Bellignies near Mons. From there, they were conducted by various guides to the houses of Cavell, Louis Séverin and others in Brussels, and furnished by them with money to reach the Dutch frontier and with guides obtained through Philippe Baucq.This placed Cavell in violation of German military law. German authorities became increasingly suspicious of the nurse’s actions, which were backed up by her outspokenness.

She was arrested on 3 August 1915 and charged with harbouring Allied soldiers. She had been betrayed by Gaston Quien, who was later convicted by a French court as a collaborator. She was held in Saint-Gilles prison for 10 weeks, the last two in solitary confinement. She made three depositions to the German police (on 8, 18 and 22 August), admitting that she had been instrumental in conveying about 60 British and 15 French soldiers and about 100 French and Belgians of military age to the frontier and had sheltered most of them in her house.

In her court-martial she was prosecuted for aiding British and French soldiers, in addition to young Belgian men, to cross the border and eventually enter Britain. She admitted her guilt when she signed a statement the day before the trial. Cavell declared that the soldiers she had helped escape thanked her in writing when arriving safely in Britain. This admission confirmed that Cavell had helped the soldiers navigate the Dutch frontier, but it also established that she helped them escape to a country at war with Germany.

The penalty according to German military law was death.

All that said, she became a great heroine for the British, and yes, the Americans as well, not to mention the French and Belgians. Again from Wikipedia:

Cavell’s remains were returned to Britain after the war. As the ship bearing the coffin arrived in Dover, a full peal of Grandsire Triples (5040 Changes, Parker’s Twelve-Part) was rung on the bells of the parish church. The peal was notable: “Rung with the bells deeply muffled with the exception of the Tenor which was open at back stroke, in token of respect to Nurse Cavell, whose body arrived at Dover during the ringing and rested in the town till the following morning. The ringers of 1-2-3-4-5-6 are ex-soldiers, F. Elliot having been eight months Prisoner of War in Germany.” Deep (or full) muffling is normally only used for the deaths of sovereigns. After an overnight pause in the parish church the body was conveyed to London and a state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey. On 19 May 1919, her body was reburied at the east side of Norwich Cathedral; a graveside service is still held each October. The railway van known as the Cavell Van that conveyed her remains from Dover to London is kept as a memorial on the Kent and East Sussex Railway and is usually open to view at Bodiam railway station.

In the Calendar of saints (Church of England) the day appointed for the commemoration of Edith Cavell is 12 October. This is a memorial in her honour rather than formal canonisation.

Following Cavell’s death, many memorials were created around the world to remember her. One of the first was unveiled on 12 October 1918 by Queen Alexandra on the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, during the opening of a home for nurses which also bore her name.

Source for both is Wikipedia

Yesterday’s evensong at Norwich cathedral commemorated the centenary of her death. You can listen here.


Last week Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, was performed in Norwich along with David Mitchell’ Cavell Mass.

This seems proper to me since it commemorates a woman who did her duty to her God, and her country, took responsibility for it and willingly (and bravely) paid the price of that duty. We should all attempt to do as well.

{UPDATE} I didn’t think to look there earlier but East Anglian Film Archive has film of the funeral in Norwich. It is excellent and can be found here.Funeral of Nurse Edith Cavell

Europe’s Rape Epidemic:

w706I mentioned this in passing the other day, here, but it needs talking about. The main question is why Europe permits such an outrage. I can think of several reasons, none complimentary.

Perhaps, the only reason Europeans pretended to respect women was the thin veneer of Christianity they used to wear; that is possible since the advance in the rights of women has always been linked to Christianity.

Perhaps, Europeans are just too wimpish to any longer protect their women, in which case they are doomed because a man who won’t protect his wife and/or daughter will not protect himself or his civilization either.

Perhaps, the Europeans simply hate their (and our) civilization so much that any outrage committed against it is fine with them.

Perhaps all of the above, or maybe other reasons. It doesn’t really matter, Europe has given up. I suspect a secondary reason is the very reason they have always resented us Anglo-Saxons, as they call us, the very evident fact that historically we have made sure we are free to take action with or without government sanction, against a crime in the street. Sadly, Britons have largely given up that right, leaving it the sole possession of Americans, who firmly believe it.

Make no mistake, Westerners are about to be made to suffer from Europe’s Rape Epidemic and the reason is that our leaders fully believe that we deserve to.

Readers will be more than aware that Sweden has become Europe’s rape capital. Its government has blamed this on everything from increased reporting to the internet to the weather. Norway and Denmark also have some rather alarming rates of rape, but those countries are more readily willing to admit the cause. 

In Norway, recent statistics revealed that 100 per cent of violent street-rapes committed in the capital city of Oslo were committed by “non-western” immigrants.  It’s a similar story in Denmark, where the majority of rapes are committed by immigrants, usually Muslim.

In England, it’s been rape after rape – tens of thousands of young British girls are brutalised, tortured, beaten and raped by organised gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims. And now we have Germany. When Chancellor Merkel threw open the doors of her country to hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, she opened the door to the rape of German women.

Rape and sexual assault (as well as forced prostitution) is rampant within the refugee camps in Germany, and it has spilled out to the nearby towns. Rape in has already been described as an “epidemic” and one that the German authorities, and media, are keeping rather quiet about. The reality is that German authorities, who know that many of these asylum seekers are rapists, will allow those men to live freely among German women – they have decided to allow German women to be raped, just like authorities all across Europe.

Women of Europe must understand what is happening here. This is not Page Three, or aCarry On film sexist joke (for the record, I wouldn’t be without my Carry On collection); this is a truly brutal hatred of women that demands we are slaves and absolutely believes it has the right to rape women who don’t submit. The men think of women this way because that is where they come from, that is what they know. 

Source: Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration

via PUMABydesign001’s Blog

And there is this, from The Gatestone Institute

  • “They are also taught that white non-Muslims are easy, cheap, dirty sluts and that it is their right [to take them]. … On top of this, teaching people to hate anyone who is not a Muslim — as is done in many mosques — will, of course, lead to a lot of people hating anyone who is not a Muslim. … The problem, however, is also due to police, judges, lawyers, and teachers, fearing the words ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobe’ — and nothing is being done to stop that.” — Toni Bugle, women’s rights activist, founder of Mothers against Radical Islam and Sharia, and victim of child-rape.

  • “When girls are raped, they are referred to by the rapists as ‘white trash,’ ‘white whores’ and ‘white kuffir.’ It is said to the girls quite openly. And the girls tell the police. Yet the assaults are never recognized as ‘racially motivated. … “I am sick of being told that I matter less because, I was born white, or that someone else matters less because he was born a different color. Such terms are themselves racist. People now seem to be using the race card to behave in the most appalling manner.” — Toni Bugle.
  • Many British girls still stay silent. The perpetrators threaten and intimidate them: “This would be enough to silence most girls. In addition, the police ignore the pleas of these girls, so they do not trust the police. I do think the silence of the community means it acquiesces.”
  • In Islam, only non-Muslims may be taken as slaves — a rule that is unfortunately only further evidence of a supremacist doctrine within Islam: that Islam is superior to other religions, and its adherents therefore entitled to privileges not afforded to members of other religions.

Source: Sexual Slavery: “Nothing to do with Islam”?

I would remind you that slavery ended in the west (including the United States) because British and then American Christians decided that it must. Nobody else cared, really. Apparently, our so-called leadership elites no longer care either, and so an old evil returns to Europe, and soon the United States as well.

The Neoliberal Arts, and the Paradox of Dogma

Play-Doh Retro Canister

Play-Doh Retro Canister (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is interesting. While I think his definition of “Reaganism”, “Thatcherism”, and even “Clintonism” to be shallow, puerile, demeaning to some good people, not to mention simply wrong; I think he strikes on some great truths about growing up today in the west, and how we are (mis-)educating our kids.

How college sold its soul to the market

recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.


Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

A spatial structure, the sentence also suggests a temporal sequence. Thinking clearly, it wants us to recognize, leads to thinking independently. Thinking independently leads to living confidently. Living confidently leads to living courageously. Living courageously leads to living hopefully. And the entire chain begins with a college that recognizes it has an obligation to its students, an obligation to develop their abilities to think and live.

Finally, the sentence is attributed to an individual. It expresses her convictions and ideals. It announces that she is prepared to hold herself accountable for certain responsibilities.

The second text is not a sentence. It is four words floating in space, unconnected to one another or to any other concept. Four words — four slogans, really — whose meaning and function are left undefined, open to whatever interpretation the reader cares to project on them.

Source: [Essay] | The Neoliberal Arts, by William Deresiewicz | Harper’s Magazine

This, I think, pretty much goes with it.

College campuses have long been on the forefront of this kind of “speech code,” and Judith Shulevitz recently wrote an eye-opening description of the latest innovation: the campus “safe space.” In this case, the safe space was created in response to that most troubling of events: a debate (in this case, between a feminist and a libertarian).

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall—it was packed—but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

God forbid anyone should have to encounter viewpoints that go against their beliefs. And on a college campus, of all places!

Source: The Paradox of Dogma: How the Left Is Crippling Itself.

That’s surely sad, that anybody can’t stand to hear idea that they don’t agree with, but more to the point, T.S Eliot said it better:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men. […]

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

And no, I didn’t learn that in trade school, and when I learned it, I neither understood it, not thought it applicable to my life.


An Anniversary

berlinwall2_thumbNot only that but we missed it. twenty-five years ago on 3 October 1990, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik ceased to exist as the two pieces of Germany left over from World War Two reunited. You’ll remember that the French, British and American Zones had combined to form the Federal Republic of Germany, and to form the bulwark of NATO for all those years between 7 October 1949 and the end of the Cold war.

After the war the Russians had caused many disruptions between the two pieces of Germany, such as blocking treaty Guaranteed access to the western Zones in Berling, leading to the Berlin Airlift, where the city was supplied for most of a year by the US and Royal Air Forces. Ultimately to keep their people from escaping to the west, the Berlin Wall was built, and maintained until it fell in the fall of 1989, after at least 173 people had died trying to reach the west.

Great Satan’s Girlfriend reminds us

The Berlin Wall had fallen less than a year earlier, a dissolution that immediately — within 48 hours — saw 2 million people pour into the western-friendly West from the communist-supported East.Since then, a unified Germany has become a driving force in the European Union, as well as the region’s largest and most powerful economy and political voice. In recent months, Germany was a leader on the world stage over Greece’s debt situation and Europe’s swelling migrant crisis. Germany has offered to take in large numbers of Syrian and other refugees on a scale matched only by similarly left-leaning and liberal Sweden.There used to be considerable differences between the East and West: in life expectancy, productivity, joblessness, wages, skills, political affiliation and access to goods.The economies of Germany’s eastern states are still relatively weak compared to those in the western part of the country — where banks, carmakers and other major employers have their headquarters — but those gaps have steadily closed.

Continue reading Reunification Day.

In other news from Germany, The Daily Mail says

Four major car manufacturers were dragged into the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal last night after Government-funded research revealed that their engines are emitting toxic fumes at up to seven times the legal limit.

British researchers tested hundreds of new diesel cars on UK roads and found that popular brands including BMW, Ford, Mazda and Mercedes, as well as Volkswagen and Audi, all emitted levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) far higher than the limits required to pass European tests.

Last night, the researchers said the huge discrepancy between real-world diesel emissions and the legal limits set by the European Commission was ‘extremely concerning’ – and suggested that Volkswagen was not alone in finding ways to pass laboratory tests.

Like Maetenloch over at Ace’s, I wonder if anyone is meeting the NOx standards, or if they are even doable, it wouldn’t be the first time government demanded the impossible, or at least something that made the product essentially worthl;ess.


In a troubling and ‘totally unexpected’ development, Germany is have something of a rape epidemic, both in the refugee camps and amongst native German women and girls. What isn’t surprising is that it is being kept very quiet to avoid ‘anti-immigrant feelings’. I can’t help but wonder why the two things would be connected. /s

More here

The Texas Grocery Store that Helped Push the Evil Empire on to the Ash Heap of History | International Liberty

Heh! Yep, that’s how it always went.

The Houston Chronicle dug into its archives to produce a story about an incident that may have played a big role in history. It’s about a senior communist functionary who was exposed to a slice of capitalism.


Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location. Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.” …In the Chronicle photos, you can see him marveling at the produce section, the fresh fish market, and the checkout counter. He looked especially excited about frozen pudding pops. “Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” he said.

This random trip to a typical supermarket may have changed history.

About a year after the Russian leader left office, a Yeltsin biographer later wrote that on the plane ride to Yeltsin’s next destination, Miami, he was despondent. He couldn’t stop thinking about the plentiful food at the grocery store and what his countrymen had to subsist on in Russia. In Yeltsin’s own autobiography, he wrote about the experience at Randall’s, which shattered his view of communism, according to pundits. Two years later, he left the Communist Party and began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia. …“When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people,” Yeltsin wrote. “That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”

Source: The Texas Grocery Store that Helped Push the Evil Empire on to the Ash Heap of History | International Liberty

Understand yet that no government bureaucrat know as well as you what you think is important? That is the basis of the free market; decide for yourself.

Saturday History Videos

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