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Ayres, Alice (1859–1885), domestic servant and heroine, was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, on 12 September 1859, the fourth daughter and seventh of ten children of John Ayres (1820–1889), labourer, and his wife, Mary-Ann, née Harris (1826–1895). She attended the village school in Isleworth...

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Alice Ayres (1859–1885) by unknown artist, 1885 © Illustrated London News Ltd / Mary Evans

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Bywater, (Richard) Arthur Samuel (1913–2005), munitions factory official, was born on 3 November 1913 at 1 Teignmouth Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, the third son of Walter Bywater, clerk at a tinplate works, later chief clerk of stores at the Austin Motor Company, Longbridge, Birmingham...

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Abraham Esau (1864–1901) by unknown photographer © reserved / Cambridge University Press

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Esau, Abraham (1864–1901), blacksmith and hero, was born on 12 September 1864 in the northern Kenhardt district of Cape Colony, the eldest son of several children of Adam Esau, semi-skilled general labourer, and his only wife, Martha April, domestic farm servant. Nothing is known of his parents, other than that they led an itinerant working existence for many years on farms and in villages in the northern and ...

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Henry John Patch (1898–2009) by Peter Macdiarmid, 2008 [with Henry Allingham (left) and William Stone (right), Armistice Day service, 2008] © Getty Images

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Patch, Henry John [Harry] (1898–2009), soldier and plumber, and longest surviving British veteran of the First World War, was born on 17 June 1898 at Fonthill Cottage, Combe Down, Somerset, the youngest of three sons (there were no daughters) of William John Patch (1863–1945)...