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Ayres, Alice (1859–1885), domestic servant and heroine, was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, on 12 September 1859, the fourth daughter and seventh of ten children of John Ayres (1820–1889), labourer, and his wife, Mary-Ann, née Harris (1826–1895). She attended the village school in Isleworth...

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Baillie, Lady Grisell (1665–1746), heroine and business woman, was born on 25 December 1665 at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire, the eldest survivor of the eighteen children of Sir Patrick Hume (or Home) of Polwarth, later first earl of Marchmont (1641–1724), and Grisell Kerr (...

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Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865–1915), nurse and war heroine, was born on 4 December 1865, the first child of the Revd Frederick Cavell (1825–1910), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Louisa Sophia (1835–1918), née Warming, in Swardeston vicarage, Norfolk. Her father, a graduate of ...

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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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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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Darling, Grace Horsley (1815–1842), heroine, born at Bamburgh, Northumberland, on 24 November 1815, was the daughter, and the seventh of nine children, of William Darling and his wife, Thomasin, née Horsley. William Darling in 1815 succeeded his father as keeper of the lighthouse on ...

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Esau, Abraham (1864–1901), blacksmith and hero, was born on 12 September 1864 in the northern Kenhardt district of Cape Colony, the eldest son of several children of Adam Esau, semi-skilled general labourer, and his only wife, Martha April, domestic farm servant. Nothing is known of his parents, other than that they led an itinerant working existence for many years on farms and in villages in the northern and ...

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Hamilton, Margaret, Lady Belhaven and Stenton (b. in or before 1625, d. in or after 1694), royalist heroine and medical practitioner, was the illegitimate daughter of James Hamilton, second marquess of Hamilton (1589–1625). It has been plausibly suggested that her mother was Anne...

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Harrison, (Barbara) Jane (1945–1968), air steward, was born on 24 May 1945 at 2 Kingsdale Crescent, Bradford, Yorkshire, the younger daughter of Alan Frederic Harrison (1911–1996), then a policeman and later a driving examiner, and Lena Veronica, née Adlard (1914–1955). Jane, as she was known to her family, was educated at ...

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Hartley, Wallace Henry (1878–1912), musician and bandleader on the RMS Titanic, was born on 2 June 1878 at 136 Greenfield Hill, Colne, Lancashire, the second of the six children (four surviving) of Albion Hartley (1850–1934), mill manager, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Foulds (1851–1927)...

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Lane, Jane, Lady Fisher (d. 1689), royalist heroine, was the third daughter of Thomas Lane (1585–1660) and Anne Bagot (b. 1589, d. in or after 1651), who married at Blithfield, Staffordshire, on 10 February 1610. Her father, 'a person of excellent reputation', resided at ...

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MacDonald, Flora (1722–1790), Jacobite heroine, was born at Milton on the island of South Uist, Outer Hebrides, the third and last child of Ranald MacDonald (d. 1723), tacksman or leaseholder of Milton and Balivanich on South Uist, and his second wife, Marion (...

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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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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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Stanley [née de La Trémoille], Charlotte, countess of Derby (1599–1664), noblewoman and royalist heroine, was born at the château of Thouars, Poitou, in France, in early December 1599, the second child and eldest daughter of Claude de La Trémoille, duc de Thouars...