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Atkinson, Mabel (1876–1958), feminist and socialist, was born on 22 May 1876 at Ridley Mill, Broomley, near Stocksfield, in rural Northumberland. She was the daughter of John Boland Atkinson, inspector of mines, and his wife, Jane, née Elliott (b. 1853), feminist and militant suffragette; she had four brothers and one sister. Her parents were, as she later said, progressive and sympathetic on female education and employment. As a young woman, however, she chafed against restrictive middle-class Victorian behaviour and dress; she considered the bicycle 'the first great emancipation' for women (...

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Banks, Anthony Louis [Tony], Baron Stratford (1942–2006), politician, was born on 8 April 1942 at Jubilee Maternity Hospital, Belfast, the only son and elder child of Albert Herbert Banks, a sergeant in the Royal Army Service Corps, who before the Second World War had been a toolmaker, and his wife, ...

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Anthony Louis Banks, Baron Stratford (1942–2006) by David Mansell, 2002 Camera Press, London

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Barke, James William (1905–1958), novelist, was born on 22 May 1905 at Torwoodlee, near Galashiels, Selkirkshire, the fourth child of James Bark (1862–1937), dairyman, and his wife, Jane (b. 1866), a dairymaid, daughter of Thomas Gibb, ploughman. The family moved in 1907 to ...

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Ronald William George Barker (1929–2005) by unknown photographer, 1975 Getty Images

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Blackham, Harold John (1903–2009), philosopher, humanist, and educationist, was born on 31 March 1903 at 4 Piers Road, Handsworth, near Birmingham, the only son and youngest of four children of Walter Roland Blackham (1875–1911), bookseller and publisher, and his wife, Harriet Mary, née...

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Bondi, Sir Hermann (1919–2005), applied mathematician and scientific administrator, was born on 1 November 1919 in Vienna, Austria, the son of Samuel Bondi (d. 1959), a doctor and heart specialist with a deep interest in science, and his wife, Helene, née Hirsch (...

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Britten, (Edward) Benjamin, Baron Britten (1913–1976), composer, was born on 22 November 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, the youngest of the four children (two sons and two daughters) of Robert Victor Britten (1878–1934), a dental surgeon, and his wife, Edith Rhoda (1874–1937), the daughter of ...

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(Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (1913–1976) by Sir Cecil Beaton © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's; collection National Portrait Gallery, London