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Colvin, Dame Mary Katherine Rosamund (1907–1988), army officer, was born on 25 October 1907 at Morleys, Shermanbury, Steyning, Sussex, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel (John) Forrester Farnell Colvin of the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers and his wife, Isabella Katherine McClintock Bunbury. Almost nothing is recorded of her early years except that she had the opportunity to travel widely in ...

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Dame (Mary) Frances Coulshed (1904–1998) by Walter Stoneman, 1957 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Coulshed, Dame (Mary) Frances (1904–1998), army officer, was born at 49 Lynmouth Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield, on 10 November 1904, the daughter of Wilfred Coulshed, a chemist who died when she was six years old, and his wife, Maude Mullin, a teacher. She was educated at ...

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D’Artois [née Butt], Sonia Esmée Florence [Toni] (1924–2014), Special Operations Executive agent, was born Sonia Juliet Esme Butt at Charnwood, Eastchurch, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, on 14 May 1924, the third child and younger daughter of Leslie Acton Kingsford Butt...

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Davies [née Cavenaugh], Christian [Catherine] [alias Christopher or Richard Welsh; called Mother Ross] (1667–1739), female soldier, was, according to The Life and Adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies (1740), born Christian Cavenaugh in Dublin. She was raised by her parents on a farm at ...

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Mary Baxter Ellis (1892–1968) by Bassano, c. 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ellis, Mary Baxter (1892–1968), commanding officer of the FANY, was born on 12 November 1892 at North Ashfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, the elder daughter in the family of four children of Joseph Baxter Ellis, grocer and miller, and his second wife, Mary Sharp Taylor...

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Field [née Hodgson], Anne (1926–2011), army officer, was born on 4 April 1926 at 34 Stanger Street, Keswick, Cumberland, the daughter of Harold Derwent Hodgson (1884–1964), a former captain in the Royal Engineers who eventually ran the family building company, Isaac and Robin Hodgson Ltd...

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Anne Field (1926–2011) by unknown photographer, © Crown copyright in photograph: UK Government Art Collection

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Franklin, Lilian Annie Margueretta (1882–1955), commanding officer of the FANY, was the only daughter (there was also one son) of William Franklin (1852–1920) of Horsham, Sussex, a wholesale merchant, and his wife, Louisa (1845–1923). The family lived for a number of years at ...