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Bentley, Charlotte Eliza (1915–1996), nurse and nursing activist, was born on 15 December 1915 at 63 Portland Court, Great Portland Street, London, the daughter of John Richard Bentley, hosier, and Charlotte Emma Redard. After education at a Swiss convent school and secretarial training ...

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Lillian Bilocca (1929–1988) by unknown photographer, c.1968 © reserved; image provided by kind permission of Dr. Alec Gill

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Bilocca [née Marshall], Lillian [Lil] (1929–1988), trawler safety campaigner, was born in a 'two-up, two-down' at 7 Welton Terrace, Wassand Street, Hull, Yorkshire, in the city's Hessle Road fishing community, on 26 May 1929, the eldest of four daughters of Ernest Marshall...

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See Crofton, Sir John Wenman

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Grigg [née Dickson-Poynder], Joan Alice Katherine, Lady Altrincham (1897–1987), organizer of maternity and nursing services in Africa, was born at Hartham Park, near Corsham, Wiltshire, on 11 September 1897, the only child of John Poynder Dickson-Poynder, Baron Islington (1866–1936), and his wife, ...

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Minnie Louise Haskins (1875–1957) by Keystone, 1939 © Getty Images

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Haskins, Minnie Louise (1875–1957), author and industrial welfare promoter, was born at 2 Kingswood Hill, Oldland, near Bristol, on 12 May 1875, the second child and eldest daughter of Joseph Haskins (1842–1891), a grocer who acquired a pottery works at Warmley where he manufactured clay drainpipes, and his wife, ...

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King [née Gore-Browne], Dame Ethel Locke (1864–1956), motor-racing promoter and hospital patron, was born on 3 June 1864 at Government House, Hobart, Tasmania, the younger daughter of Colonel Sir Thomas Gore-Browne (1807–1887), governor of Tasmania, and his wife, Harriet Louisa, daughter of ...

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Little [née Bewicke], Alicia Ellen Neve [known as Mrs Archibald Little] (1845–1926), author and campaigner against foot-binding, was born in Madeira, the youngest of the three daughters and three sons of Calverley Bewicke (1816–1864), a landowner, of Hallaton Hall, Leicestershire, and his wife, ...

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Alicia Ellen Neve Little (1845–1926) by Tze-Yung-Ming & Co., 1894 [with her husband, Archibald John Little] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mackenzie [née Spence], Dame Helen Carruthers (1859–1945), educationist and public health campaigner, was born on 13 April 1859 at Mortlach, Banffshire, the daughter of William Spence, merchant tailor and provost of Dufftown, and his wife, Mary McDonell. She was educated at the local village school, where she became a pupil teacher, and completed teacher training at the ...

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Malleson [née Whitehead], Elizabeth (1828–1916), educationist and promoter of rural district nursing, was born on 29 October 1828 in Chelsea, London, the eldest of the eleven children of Henry Whitehead, solicitor, of Chelsea, and his wife, Frances Ann, youngest child of Francis Maguire...

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Annie McCall (1859–1949) by Deneulain Wellcome Library, London

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McCall, Annie (1859–1949), physician and promoter of antenatal and maternity care, was born on 23 September 1859 at Dudley Bank Cottage, Whalley Range, Moss Side, Manchester, the third child of five born to William McCall (1810/11–1863), an insurance agent, and his wife, Mary (1831–1921)...

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Nichols, Mary Sergeant Gove (1810–1884), campaigner for medical reform and women's rights, was born at Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA, on 10 August 1810, the second daughter and third child of William A. Neal (d. 1845) and Rebecca R. Neal. Her paternal grandfather was Scottish, while her mother's family were Welsh. ...

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Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) by Goodman, c. 1857 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Nightingale, Florence (1820–1910), reformer of Army Medical Services and of nursing organization, was born on 12 May 1820 at Villa Columbaia, Florence, where her parents were on a European tour. Their other daughter, Frances Parthenope Nightingale (1819–1890) [see Verney, Frances Parthenope], born in ...

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Pinsent [née Parker], Dame Ellen Frances (1866–1949), promoter of the mental health services, was born at Claxby, Lincolnshire, on 25 March 1866, the youngest of the eight children of Richard Parker, rector of Claxby, and his second wife, Elizabeth Coffin; Robert John Parker, ...

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Claire Berenice Rayner (1931–2010) by Eamonn McCabe, 2002 © Eamonn McCabe

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Rayner [née Berkovitch], Claire Berenice (1931–2010), writer, broadcaster, and social campaigner, was born at 24 Underwood Street, Stepney, London, on 22 January 1931, the eldest daughter of Percy (later Peter) Berkovitch (1909–1982), journeyman tailor, and his wife, Betty, née Dion (1910–1982). The family moved around a lot, mostly dodging the bailiffs, before the start of the Second World War. In 1940 ...