Nurse Edith Cavell was nursing in Belgium when the war broke out. The hospital she had been working in was converted into a Red Cross hospital for wounded soldiers of all nationalities.
Many of the captured Allied soldiers who were treated at Berkendael subsequently succeeded in escaping – with Cavell’s active assistance – to neutral Holland. Cavell was arrested on 5 August 1915 by local German authorities and charged with having personally aided in the escape of some 200 such soldiers.
Kept in solitary confinement for nine weeks the Germans successfully extracted a confession from Cavell which formed the basis of her trial. The sentence was carried out on 12 October 1915.