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Mary Sophia Allen (1878–1964) by Mrs Albert Broom, 1916 [centre, with members of the women police] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allen, Mary Sophia (1878–1964), police officer, was born on 12 March 1878 at 2 Marlborough Terrace, Newport Road, Roath, Glamorgan, the daughter of Thomas Isaac Allen, a superintendent of the Great Western Railway, and his wife, Margaret Sophia Carlyle. Her sister, Mrs Hampton...

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Barker, Dame Lilian Charlotte (1874–1955), prison administrator, was born on 21 February 1874 in Islington, the fifth of seven children and youngest daughter of James Barker, tobacconist, and his wife, Caroline Williams. Educated at the local elementary school, she was trained at Whitelands College, Chelsea...

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Bather, Elizabeth Constance (1904–1988), police officer, was born on 11 October 1904 in Winchester, Hampshire, the daughter of the Revd Arthur George Bather, a housemaster at Winchester College, Hampshire, and his wife, Lilian Dundas Firth. She was educated at St Swithun's School, Winchester...

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Bruce, Victoria Alexandrina Katherine (1898–1951), prison governor, was born on 13 September 1898 at Kennet House, Clackmannan, the youngest by fifteen years in the family of two sons and three daughters of Alexander Hugh Bruce, sixth Lord Balfour of Burleigh (1849–1921), secretary for ...

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Dawson, Margaret Mary Damer (1873–1920), a founder of the Women's Police Service, was born at 1 York Road, Hove, Sussex, on 12 June 1873, the daughter of Richard Dawson (b. 1829/30), a surgeon, and his wife, Agnes Baird Hemming (1851/2–1926), who in 1914, following her husband's death, married ...

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Eadie [née Hearn], Ellice Aylmer (1912–2001), barrister and civil servant, was born on 30 June 1912 at Edmonton, St Patrick's Hill, Cork, the daughter of Robert Thomas Hearn (d. 1952), Church of Ireland clergyman, later bishop of Cork, and his wife, ...

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See Franks, Oliver Shewell, Baron Franks

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Gordon, Mary Louisa (1861–1941), physician and prison inspector, was born on 15 August 1861 at Seaforth in Lancashire, the daughter of James Gordon (1809/10-1894), hide and tallow broker, and his wife, Mary Emily, néeCarter (1831/2-1915). The Gordons had lived for generations in the ...

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Kitchen, Jane (d. 1658), farmer and parish constable, lived in Upton by Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Nothing is known of her early life. In 1619 she married John Kitchen (d. 1643), yeoman and churchwarden, son of John Kitchen of Upton, outside the parish of ...

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See MacDonald, Malcolm John

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Martin, Sarah (1791–1843), prison visitor, was born in June 1791 at Caister on the Norfolk coast. She was an only child and her father, a local tradesman, and her mother both died in her infancy. She was brought up by her widowed grandmother, a glove maker, and attended ...

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Dame Barbara Jean Lyon Mills (1940–2011) by Nicholas Turpin, 1992 © Nicholas Turpin / The Independent / Rex Features

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Mills [née Warnock], Dame Barbara Jean Lyon (1940–2011), barrister and public servant, was born on 10 August 1940 at Wroxton, Lower Road, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, the elder daughter of John Lyon Warnock, chartered accountant, and his wife, Nora Kitty, née Sheather (1911–1997). At the time of her birth registration her parents lived at ...

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Peto, Dorothy Olivia Georgiana (1886–1974), police officer, was born at Littlecroft, Emery Down, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, on 15 December 1886, the second daughter in the family of two sons and four daughters of Morton Kelsall Peto (1845–1921), a partner in the family building business who was also known as a landscape artist, and his wife, ...

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Taylor [née Clifford], (May Doris) Charity, Lady Taylor (1914–1998), prison administrator, was born on 16 September 1914 at West Lea, York Road, Woking, Surrey, the third daughter and youngest of four children of (Wron) George Clifford, journalist, and his wife, Emma Ada, formerly Cundy...

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Watson [née Wall], Edith Mary (1888–1966), suffragist and police officer, was born on 6 November 1888, in the infirmary, Hackney union workhouse, the illegitimate daughter of Martha Wall, a domestic servant. With her mother and stepfamily, Edith lived in Marylebone, helping with her mother's sweated labour, sewing buttons on shirts. She was educated at ...

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Wells [née Perry], Nesta Helen (1892–1986), physician and police surgeon, was born on 9 July 1892 at 71 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, the daughter of Herbert Edward Perry, a mineral water manufacturer who later became a Unitarian minister, and his wife, Edith Grafton Hopkins...

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Wheldon, Dame Juliet Louise (1950–2013), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 26 March 1950 at 48 Queen's Gate, Kensington, London, the younger child of John Wheldon (1911–1999), a manager and later director at Courtaulds, and his wife, Ursula Mabel, née Caillard (1908–2003)...