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See Patch, Henry John [Harry]

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Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.), legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain, has an attested career that is entirely posthumous. From obscure beginnings in British legend, he became internationally known in the twelfth century, particularly through the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's...

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Atkins, Thomas [Tommy] (d. 1794), soldier and epitomist of the British infantryman, remains an obscure figure but is thought, according to the most reliable accounts, to have been a private serving in the 33rd regiment of foot during the Netherlands campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. On 15 September 1794 ...

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Chester, Charles (c. 1554–1604), informer and wit, probably born in Bristol, was one of ten children of Dominic Chester (d. 1575), merchant and MP, and his wife, Mary (d. 1572), the daughter of Roger Barlow, merchant and explorer, and his wife, ...

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See Patch, Henry John [Harry]

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Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip Christison, fourth baronet (1893–1993) by Vandyk, 1948 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Christison, Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip, fourth baronet (1893–1993), army officer, was born at 40 Moray Place, Edinburgh, on 17 November 1893, the elder of the two sons and eldest of five children of Sir Alexander Christison, second baronet (1828–1918), surgeon-general in the Bengal...

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John Travers Cornwell (1900–1916) by unknown photographer The Imperial War Museum, London

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Cornwell, John Travers [Jack] (1900–1916), naval hero, was born on 8 January 1900, at Clyde Cottage, Clyde Place, Leyton, Essex, the son of Eli Cornwell (1852–1916), tram driver and soldier, originally from Newmarket, and his wife, Lily King (d. 1918). His siblings included at least two brothers (one of whom was killed in action in August 1918) and a sister. He was educated at ...

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John Crawford (1775–1831) by D. Orme, pubd 1797 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crawford, John [Jack] (1775–1831), sailor and naval hero, was born on 22 March 1775 at a house on Thornhill Bank in the east end of Sunderland, co. Durham, the son of a keelman. At an early age Crawford also worked on the keelboats that carried coal on the ...

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Des Barres, Joseph Frederick Wallet (1721–1824), hydrographer and colonial official, was born in November 1721, either in Basel, Switzerland, or in Paris, the eldest child of Joseph-Léonard Vallet des Barres, a Huguenot, and his wife, Anne-Catherine, née Cuvier. He was baptized Joseph-Frédéric Vallet...

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Gordon, William James (1864–1922), West Indian soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born on 19 May 1864 in Jamaica. His precise birthplace and parents' names are unknown, as are details of his life before July 1885, when he enlisted in the ...

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Greville, Algernon Frederick (1798–1864), army officer and private secretary, was born on 29 January 1798, the second son of Charles Greville (1762–1832), fifth son of Fulke Greville of Wilbury, Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Charlotte (d. 28 July 1862), eldest daughter of ...

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Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald (1853–1903) by Elliott & Fry, 1890s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Macdonald, Sir Hector Archibald (1853–1903), army officer and popular hero, youngest of five sons of William Macdonald, a crofter and mason, and his wife, Ann, daughter of John Boyd of Killiechoilum and of Cradlehall, was born at Rootfield, Urquhart, Ross-shire, on 4 March 1853. Gaelic-speaking outside school, he attended the local ...

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Maczek, Stanisław Władysław (1892–1994), officer in the Polish army, was born on 31 March 1892 in the small town of Szczerzec in Galicia, south-eastern Poland, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, one of the twin sons of Władysław (Witold) Maczek (d. c...

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Oliver, Sir Henry Francis (1865–1965), naval officer, born in Lochside, near Kelso, on 22 January 1865, was the fifth child in a family of seven sons and three daughters of Robert Oliver and his wife, Margaret Strickland. To his father, who came from sound yeoman stock and farmed ...

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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)...

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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