sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

The Cavell Van

Pete's Favourite Things

Van 132, known as the Cavell Van was built in 1919 as a luggage van to run on passenger services on the Chatham and South-Eastern Railway. Within a few weeks of service, it was selected to convey the body of Edith Cavell, a nurse who was working in Brussels at the outbreak of World War I. When the Germans captured Brussels Cavell and a few colleagues were allowed to remain. She became involved in the underground resistance and played an important part in the escape network for British servicemen trapped in Belgium. She was arrested in August 1915 and tried by a German military court. She and 4 others were executed by firing squad on October 12th. In 1919 it was decided that her body should be brought back to the UK and buried in Norwich Cathedral and van 132 played its part by carrying her coffin from Dover to Victoria on 13th-14th…

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