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Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.), legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain, has an attested career that is entirely posthumous. From obscure beginnings in British legend, he became internationally known in the twelfth century, particularly through the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's...

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Chester, Charles (c. 1554–1604), informer and wit, probably born in Bristol, was one of ten children of Dominic Chester (d. 1575), merchant and MP, and his wife, Mary (d. 1572), the daughter of Roger Barlow, merchant and explorer, and his wife, ...

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Christison, Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip, fourth baronet (1893–1993), army officer, was born at 40 Moray Place, Edinburgh, on 17 November 1893, the elder of the two sons and eldest of five children of Sir Alexander Christison, second baronet (1828–1918), surgeon-general in the Bengal...

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Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip Christison, fourth baronet (1893–1993) by Vandyk, 1948 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Crawford (1775–1831) by D. Orme, pubd 1797 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crawford, John [Jack] (1775–1831), sailor and naval hero, was born on 22 March 1775 at a house on Thornhill Bank in the east end of Sunderland, co. Durham, the son of a keelman. At an early age Crawford also worked on the keelboats that carried coal on the ...

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Des Barres, Joseph Frederick Wallet (1721–1824), hydrographer and colonial official, was born in November 1721, either in Basel, Switzerland, or in Paris, the eldest child of Joseph-Léonard Vallet des Barres, a Huguenot, and his wife, Anne-Catherine, née Cuvier. He was baptized Joseph-Frédéric Vallet...

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Gordon, William James (1864–1922), West Indian soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born on 19 May 1864 in Jamaica. His precise birthplace and parents' names are unknown, as are details of his life before July 1885, when he enlisted in the ...

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Greville, Algernon Frederick (1798–1864), army officer and private secretary, was born on 29 January 1798, the second son of Charles Greville (1762–1832), fifth son of Fulke Greville of Wilbury, Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Charlotte (d. 28 July 1862), eldest daughter of ...

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Maczek, Stanisław Władysław (1892–1994), officer in the Polish army, was born on 31 March 1892 in the small town of Szczerzec in Galicia, south-eastern Poland, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, one of the twin sons of Władysław (Witold) Maczek (d. c...

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Pitt, Thomas, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804), naval officer and rake, was born on 19 February 1775 at Boconnoc House, Cornwall, the younger of two children of Thomas Pitt, first Baron Camelford (1737–1793), landowner and politician, and Anne (1738–1803), daughter of Pinckney Wilkinson, London...

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Thomas Pitt, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804) by unknown engraver (after C. Bond) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See St Leger, Anthony

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See Patch, Henry John [Harry]

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Unknown Warrior, the [the Unknown Soldier] (d. 1914?), an unidentified British soldier of the First World War, was buried in Westminster Abbey as a symbolic representative of the British and dominion servicemen who died in that war. About 9 per cent of British males under forty-five died in the conflict, and some northern towns whose pals' battalions were devastated on the ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Wallis, Sir Provo William Parry (1791–1892), naval officer, only son of Provo Featherstone Wallis, chief clerk to the naval commissioner at Halifax, Nova Scotia, was born at Halifax on 12 April 1791. His mother was a daughter of William Lawlor, major in the ...