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Cilento, (Elizabeth) Diane (1933–2011), actress, was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on 5 October 1933, the fifth of the six children of Sir Raphael West (Ray) Cilento (1893–1985) and his wife, Phyllis Dorothy, née McGlew (1894–1987). Her father was a pioneer in tropical medicine (knighted in 1935) and her mother was a gynaecologist who was an early proponent of the use of vitamin supplements. Of ...

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Helen Lyndon Goff (1899–1996) by Jane Bown, pubd 1982 © Jane Bown

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Goff, Helen Lyndon [pseuds. P. L. Travers, Pamela Lyndon Travers] (1899–1996), children's writer, was born on 9 August 1899 in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia. She was the first of the three children of Travers Robert Goff (1863–1907), a London-born bank manager (later demoted to a clerk), and ...

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Khan, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat (1914–1944), special operations officer, was born on 2 January 1914 in Moscow, the eldest of four children of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927), a Sufi religious teacher and musician, and his wife, Ora Ray Baker (1890–1949). Her father was descended from the last Mughal ...

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Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan (1914–1944) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lings, Martin (1909–2005), scholar of Islam, was born on 24 January 1909 at Barciecroft, Burnage Lane, Burnage, Lancashire, the son of George Herbert Lings, cotton spinner and ornithologist, and his wife, Gladys Mary, née Greenhalgh. After spending much of his childhood in the ...

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Muhammad Ahmad ibn 'Abdullahi [Muḣammad Aḣmad ibn Abdullāhi; known as the Mahdi] (1844–1885), religious leader, was born on 12 August 1844 at Labab island, Dongola province, Sudan. He was one of the five children of 'Abdullahi Fahl, a boat maker. After studying with several religious teachers he was initiated into the ...