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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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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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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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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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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, ...

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Heaney, Sheila Anne Elizabeth (1917–1991), army officer, was born on 11 June 1917 at 5 Canning Street, Liverpool, the second of the four children of Francis James Strong Heaney (1874–1950), a consultant general surgeon who specialized in the use of radium, and his wife, ...

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Hutchinson, Beryl Butterworth (1892–1981), volunteer ambulance driver and member of the FANY, was born on 22 August 1892 at Tenter House, Spotland, near Rochdale, Lancashire, the only child of Robert Arthur Lord Hutchinson (1860–1925), woollen manufacturer, and his wife, Florence Mark (1866–1945). She grew up in ...

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Kettlewell, Dame Marion Mildred (1914–2016), director of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, was born on 20 February 1914 at Harptree Cottage, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, the youngest of three children and only daughter of George Wildman Kettlewell (1879–1971), electrical engineer, and his wife, ...

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Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan (1914–1944) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Khan, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat (1914–1944), special operations officer, was born on 2 January 1914 in Moscow, the eldest of four children of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927), a Sufi religious teacher and musician, and his wife, Ora Ray Baker (1890–1949). Her father was descended from the last Mughal ...

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Murray [née Clarke], Joan Elisabeth Lowther (1917–1996), cryptanalyst and numismatist, was born at 45 Idmiston Road, West Norwood, London, on 24 June 1917, the youngest child (there were three sons, and another daughter) of William Kemp Lowther Clarke, a Church of England...

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Dame Ellen Mary Musson (1867–1960) by unknown photographer Royal College of Nursing Archives

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Musson, Dame Ellen Mary (1867–1960), nurse, was born on 11 August 1867 at The Castle, Clitheroe, Lancashire, one of the twelve children of William Edward Musson (1831–1917), surgeon, and his wife, Susanna Catherine Robinson (1839–1911). Musson received a good education at home (1870–85), travelled in ...

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Dame Felicity Hyde Peake (1913–2002) by T. C. Dugdale, exh. RA 1941 © Crown copyright; courtesy of the Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum

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Peake [née Watts; other married name Hanbury], Dame Felicity Hyde (1913–2002), air force officer, was born at Holly Bank, Swann Lane, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, on 1 May 1913, the younger daughter of Humphrey Watts, a senior partner in S. and J. Watts...

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Pennant, Violet Blanche Douglas- (1869–1945), air force officer, was born on 31 January 1869 at 23 Chapel Street, Belgrave Square, London, the sixth daughter of George Sholto Gordon Douglas-Pennant, second Baron Penrhyn (1836–1907), JP and MP for Caernarvonshire, and his first wife, Pamela Blanche (1839–1869)...