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Alkin, Elizabeth [nicknamed Parliament Joan] (c. 1600–1655?), nurse and spy, was the wife of Francis Alkin, who was hanged as a spy in Oxford by royalist forces during the civil war. Alkin's activities are known largely from her surviving petitions for payment and relief (many of them undated or misattributed in ...

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Monica Eileen Baly (1914–1998) by unknown photographer [detail] © reserved / News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baly, Monica Eileen (1914–1998), nurse and historian of nursing, was born on 24 May 1914 at 23 Shirley Park Road, Shirley, near Croydon, Surrey, the first of the two children, and the only daughter, of Albert Frank Baly (d. 1953), a clerk with ...

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Beale, Dame Doris Winifred (1889–1971), nurse, was born on 9 August 1889 at 42 London Road, Sydenham, London, the daughter of George Beale, master draper, and his wife, Annie Maria, formerly King. Doris was educated at Prendergast School, Lewisham, and on leaving school she worked as a clerk before eventually embarking on nurse training at the ...

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Blair, Dame Emily Mathieson (1890–1963), nurse and nursing administrator, was born on 12 January 1890 at Boghead, Lenzie, Kirkintilloch, daughter of Hugh Blair, muslin manufacturer, and his wife, Mary Ann, née Croll. Blair trained as a nurse at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, from 1912 to 1916. In July 1916 she was appointed ward sister at the ...

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Dame Sidney Jane Browne (1850–1941) by Langfier © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Browne, Dame Sidney Jane (1850–1941), nurse, was born on 5 January 1850 in Bexley, Kent, one of the four children of Benjamin Stocks Browne and his wife, Jane Sidney, formerly Deane. Sidney grew up in a medical family: her father was a surgeon and her two brothers were doctors. She was educated at home, and when she was twenty-eight started nursing at the ...

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Furse [née Symonds], Dame Katharine (1875–1952), nurse and nursing administrator, was born at Clifton, Bristol, on 23 November 1875, the fourth daughter of the author John Addington Symonds (1840–1893) and his wife, Janet Catherine, sister of the painter and traveller Marianne North (1830–1890)...

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Dame Katharine Furse (1875–1952) by Elliott & Fry, 1919 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Kenny, Elizabeth (1880–1952), nurse and specialist in the treatment of polio, was born on 20 September 1880 at Kelly's Gully, near Warialda, New South Wales, Australia, the daughter of Michael Kenny, an Irish immigrant farm labourer, and his wife, Mary, formerly Moore. Kenny...

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Elizabeth Kenny (1880–1952) by unknown photographer, 1942 [receiving the award of the Legion of Merit from Commander William Klatt] Getty Images

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Dame Ellen Mary Musson (1867–1960) by unknown photographer Royal College of Nursing Archives

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Musson, Dame Ellen Mary (1867–1960), nurse, was born on 11 August 1867 at The Castle, Clitheroe, Lancashire, one of the twelve children of William Edward Musson (1831–1917), surgeon, and his wife, Susanna Catherine Robinson (1839–1911). Musson received a good education at home (1870–85), travelled in ...

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Smythe [née Beaufort], Emily Anne, Viscountess Strangford (bap. 1826, d. 1887), military nurse, was baptized on 1 April 1826 at St Marylebone, Middlesex, the youngest daughter of Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774–1857), hydrographer, and his first wife, Alicia Magdalena (1782–1834), daughter of ...

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Turner, Dame Evelyn Marguerite [Margot] (1910–1993), military nurse, was born on 10 May 1910 in Finchley, Middlesex, the only daughter and one of four children of Thomas Frederick Turner, an employee in a solicitor's office, and his wife, Molly Cecilia (née Bryan)...

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Wilkinson [née Lumsden], Dame Louisa Jane (1889–1968), military nurse, was born Louisa Jane Lumsden on 11 December 1889 at 5 Peel Street, Sunderland. She was the daughter of James Lumsden, merchant seaman, and his wife, Louisa, née Benskin; she had at least one brother, ...

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Dame Louisa Jane Wilkinson (1889–1968) by Bassano, 1944 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Young, Mary Helen (1883–1945), nurse and resistance worker, was born on 5 June 1883 at 24 View Terrace, Aberdeen, the youngest of the three children of Alexander Young (1855–1913), a grocer's clerk, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Burnett (1854–1884). Her mother died while ...

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Yudenitch [Yudenich], Flora Sandes- (1876–1956), nurse and soldier in the Serbian service, was born on 22 January 1876 at Nether Poppleton, near York, the youngest daughter of the Revd Samuel Dickson Sandes (1822–1914) and his wife, Sophia Julia Besnard (d. 1911). She came from a large family, was educated by governesses, and trained as a secretary. She also received first-aid training with the ...