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from Manchester Evening News 24 April 2002

Edith Cavell memorial foundWar angels's tribute saved from flames

A BRASS plaque dedicated to a nurse who gave her life for others during World War I has been saved from destruction by a sharp-eyed businessman.

John Charlton spotted the etched tablet in Old Trafford as it was about to be melted down.

It was in memory of Edith Cavell, a Manchester nurse who was executed in Belgium during the war for helping prisoners escape.

Mr Charlton, 49, of Bromwich Street, Bolton, who deals in hydraulic tippers, was so taken with it he swapped some scrap metal for it and had it cleaned and polished.

He researched Edith’s life and now wants to find out where the plaque has come from.

He said: “It is a marvellous piece of craftsmanship. If you wanted to have it done now it would probably cost £300 or £400 pounds, but it only had a scrap value of £2.

"I would be happy to give it to any of Edith’s surviving family if they wanted it, or to a museum who could give it a good home."

Edith was Matron at the Manchester and Salford Sick Poor and Private Nursing Institution in 1901.

When Belgium found itself under German occupation she sheltered British and French soldiers and helped them flee to Holland. She was arrested and executed in 1915.

Anyone who knows more about the plaque can call Mr Charlton on 01204 572801.

Note - the inscription reads: This tablet is erected in memory of the work done in Manchester by Nurse Edith Cavell who was executed at Brussels by order of the German military authorities on the night of October 11th 1915
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