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Auld [née Christie], Susan Mary [known as Susan Denham Christie] (1915–2002), naval architect, was born on 10 January 1915 at 12 Northumberland Terrace, Tynemouth, Northumberland, the only daughter and younger child of John Denham Christie (d. 1950), naval architect and shipbuilder, and chairman of ...

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Smith, Constance Babington (1912–2000), photographic interpreter and author, was born at Beech Law, Puttenham, Surrey (on the Hog’s Back, in the North Downs), on 15 October 1912, the seventh of ten children of Sir Henry Babington Smith (1863–1923), civil servant and financier, and his wife Lady ...

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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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James Barry (c. 1799–1865) by unknown photographer, c. 1860 [left, with a servant] Trustees of the Army Medical Services Museum

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Barry, James (c. 1799–1865), army medical officer and transvestite, was probably born Margaret, the youngest daughter of Mrs Mary Ann Bulkley or Bulkeley, the sister of the artist James Barry; her paternity is in doubt. From the age of ten she dressed and presented herself as a man, but the woman who laid out her corpse declared that she was female: '...

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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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Cheshire [née Lloyd], Dame Mary Kathleen (1902–1972), director of the Women's Royal Naval Service, was born on 31 May 1902 at 15 Sussex Gardens, Eastbourne, Sussex, the daughter of Aloysius Joseph Lloyd, a draper, and his wife, Annie, formerly Grant. She was educated at the Ursuline convent, ...

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Dame (Mary) Frances Coulshed (1904–1998) by Walter Stoneman, 1957 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Coulshed, Dame (Mary) Frances (1904–1998), army officer, was born at 49 Lynmouth Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield, on 10 November 1904, the daughter of Wilfred Coulshed, a chemist who died when she was six years old, and his wife, Maude Mullin, a teacher. She was educated at ...

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Crowdy, Edith Frances (1880–1947), travel agent and member of the Women's Royal Naval Service, was born on 25 August 1880 at 79 Victoria Road, Wandsworth, London, one of the four daughters of James Crowdy, solicitor, and his wife, Mary Isabel Anne Fuidge. Educated at home, in 1912 she joined her younger sister ...

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Dame (Edith) Margaret Drummond (1917–1987) by Walter Bird, 1965 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Drummond, Dame (Edith) Margaret (1917–1987), director of the Women's Royal Naval Service, was born on 4 September 1917 at 101 Dundonald Road, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, one of at least two daughters of Robert James Drummond, professor at the dairy school of the West of Scotland Agricultural College...

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Mary Baxter Ellis (1892–1968) by Bassano, c. 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ellis, Mary Baxter (1892–1968), commanding officer of the FANY, was born on 12 November 1892 at North Ashfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, the elder daughter in the family of four children of Joseph Baxter Ellis, grocer and miller, and his second wife, Mary Sharp Taylor...

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Franklin, Lilian Annie Margueretta (1882–1955), commanding officer of the FANY, was the only daughter (there was also one son) of William Franklin (1852–1920) of Horsham, Sussex, a wholesale merchant, and his wife, Louisa (1845–1923). The family lived for a number of years at ...

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Gizycka, Countess Krystyna [née Countess Krystyna Skarbeka; alias Christine Granville] (1915–1952), special operations officer, was born on 1 May 1915, probably at Mlodziesyn, some 30 miles from Warsaw, Poland. Her father, Count Jerzy Skarbek, had married in 1899 Stephanie Goldfeder, daughter of a Jewish banker, and they already had a son. The estate was soon overrun by the German army, and her infancy was spent under German occupation. In 1920 the family moved to another estate, at ...

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Goodenough, Ethel Mary [Angela] (1900–1946), naval officer, was born on 12 January 1900 in India and baptized on 14 February at Simla, in the Siwalik hills of northern India, the daughter of Captain Herbert Lane Goodenough (d. before 1946) of the Indian army and his wife, ...