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Addy, Mark Anthony (1840–1890), boatman and life-saver, was born at 2 Stage Buildings, The Parsonage, Manchester, on 13 April 1840, the sixth of eight children of Mark Addy (1801–1865), a joiner who ran a successful boat building and hire business at Stage Buildings...

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Arnold, Mary Anne (b. 1825), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Sheerness, Kent, and may have been the daughter of Lieutenant Arnold of the Royal Navy who served aboard the Ganges and Prince Regent men-of-war. According to a report in The Times following her detection in October 1839, an officer of the ...

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Axon, John (1900–1957), railwayman, was born on 4 December 1900 at 38 Providence Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport, Lancashire, the fourth of the six children (four daughters and two sons) of William Henry Axon (b. 1869/70), a renderer and later an electric wireman, and ...

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Noel Pemberton Billing (1881–1948) by Elliott & Fry, 1920s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Billing, Noel Pemberton (1881–1948), aviator and self-publicist, was born on 31 January 1881 in Hampstead, the youngest child of Charles Eardley Billing, a Birmingham iron-founder, and his wife, Annie Emilia Claridge. He was educated at the high school, Hampstead; Cumming's College, outside Boulogne...

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Gunn [née Fubister], Isabel [alias John Fubister] (1780–1861), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Orkney, on 1 August 1780, the daughter of John Fubister and Girzal Allan, and was baptized Isabel Fubister on 7 August in St Andrew's parish, Orkney. Few details are known about her life until she signed on with ...

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(Barbara) Jane Harrison (1945–1968) by unknown photographer British Airways Heritage Centre

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Harrison, (Barbara) Jane (1945–1968), air steward, was born on 24 May 1945 at 2 Kingsdale Crescent, Bradford, Yorkshire, the younger daughter of Alan Frederic Harrison (1911–1996), then a policeman and later a driving examiner, and Lena Veronica, née Adlard (1914–1955). Jane, as she was known to her family, was educated at ...

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Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith (1888–1989) by unknown photographer, 1910 Getty Images

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Sopwith, Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch (1888–1989), engineer and airman, was born on 18 January 1888 at 92 Cromwell Road, Kensington, west London, the eighth child and only son of Thomas Sopwith (1838–1898), managing director of the Spanish Lead Mines Company of Linares in ...

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Anne Jane Thornton (b. 1817) by unknown engraver, pubd 1835 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thornton, Anne Jane (b. 1817), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Gloucestershire, the daughter of a prosperous merchant. After her mother's death in 1823 her father moved to Donegal, Ireland, where he opened another highly successful shop. At age fifteen she met an American, ...