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Anderson, Sir Alan Garrett (1877–1952), public servant and shipowner, was born in London on 9 March 1877, the only son of James George Skelton Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836–1917), the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Great Britain...

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Balfour, Harold Harington, first Baron Balfour of Inchrye (1897–1988), airman, businessman, and politician, was born on 1 November 1897 in Farnham, Surrey, the younger son and second of the three children of Colonel Nigel Harington Balfour OBE, a serving officer, of Belton, Camberley, Surrey...

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Barton, Robert [called Hob a Barton] (d. 1540), sea captain and administrator, known to the English as the pirate Hob a Barton, was one of three sons of John Barton, sea captain in Leith, the port of Edinburgh. Some time prior to 1476 his father's ship and goods were captured by Portuguese ships. ...

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Beckett, Sir Edmund [known as Edmund Denison], fourth baronet (1787–1874), railway promoter and politician, was born at Gledhow Hall, Leeds, on 29 January 1787, the sixth son of the banker Sir John Beckett, first baronet (1743–1826), and his wife, Mary, daughter of ...

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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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Blogg, Henry George (1876–1954), lifeboat coxswain, was born in Cromer on 6 February 1876, the son of Ellen Blogg. He was educated at the Goldsmiths' School, Cromer, where he proved quick at learning and revealed an unusually retentive memory. He took no part in games, failed to defend himself against bullying, and never learned to swim. When nearly twelve he began life as a longshore fisherman. In 1894 he joined the ...

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Henry George Blogg (1876–1954) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1942 © reserved; photograph courtesy of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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John Theodore Cuthbert Moore- Brabazon, first Baron Brabazon of Tara (1884–1964) by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1940 © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brabazon, John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-, first Baron Brabazon of Tara (1884–1964), aviator and politician, was born in London on 8 February 1884, the younger son in the family of two sons and two daughters of Lieutenant-Colonel John Arthur Henry Moore-Brabazon (1828–1908), landowner, of ...

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Sir Joseph Guinness Broodbank (1857–1944) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Broodbank, Sir Joseph Guinness (1857–1944), docks administrator and public servant, was born on 15 July 1857 at Poplar, London, the eldest son of Caleb Broodbank, accountant, of Folkestone, and his wife, Sarah, daughter of Captain Thomas Coburn, merchant navy, of Poplar. In 1872 he entered the service of the ...

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Brown, Albert Richard (1839–1913), shipping agent and consul for Japan, was born on 29 August 1839 at Ringwood, in Hampshire, the son of Richard Brown, wine merchant and clerk to the Ringwood board of guardians, and his wife, Mary Ann, née Pritchard. In 1853 he went to sea as a cabin-boy on the brig ...

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Butler [Boteler], Nathaniel (b. 1577, d. in or after 1643), colonial governor and maritime author, was the elder son of the second marriage of John Butler (d. 1614) of the Toft, in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, and Mary, daughter of James Gedge and widow of ...

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Frederick Archibald Vaughan Campbell, third Earl Cawdor (1847–1911) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Campbell, Frederick Archibald Vaughan, third Earl Cawdor (1847–1911), politician and railway administrator, was born on 13 February 1847 at St Leonard's Hill, Windsor, the eldest child of John Frederick Vaughan Campbell, second Earl Cawdor (1817–1898) and his first wife, Sarah, daughter of the ...

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Clark, Sir George Smith, first baronet (1861–1935), shipbuilder and politician, was born on 8 November 1861 in Paisley, the second of three children of James Clark (1830–1910), thread manufacturer, and his first wife, Jane, daughter of George Smith, a Glasgow shipowner. His parents were both Scottish. Raised as a Presbyterian, ...

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Croft, Thomas (c. 1435–1488), customs official, shipowner, and patron of Atlantic exploration, was the son of William Croft (d. 1439) of Croft Castle, Herefordshire, and Isabella, presumably a second wife. He was born during the 1430s, the youngest of four brothers, including ...

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See Crossley, Francis William

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Dash, Jack O'Brien (1907–1989), political activist and unofficial dockers' leader, was born on 23 April 1907 in Southwark, south London, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Thomas Dash, a stagehand, and his wife, Rose Gertrude Johns, an actor. According to Dash's own account, his upbringing was one of great material hardship. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven and his father, who then had an even greater struggle to support the family, also died of a lung complaint a few years later. After an elementary schooling, his skill at drawing led to a trial period with an engraving firm, but pressure to take home a better wage resulted in a series of menial jobs, starting in a ...