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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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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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Odette Marie Céline Hallowes (1912–1995) by unknown photographer The Imperial War Museum, London

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Hallowes [née Brailly], Odette Marie Céline (1912–1995), special operations officer and member of the FANY, was born on 28 April 1912 in Amiens, northern France, the only daughter in the family of three children of Gaston Brailly (c.1880–1918), banker, and his wife, ...

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Dame Elvira Sibyl Maria Laughton Mathews (1888–1959) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mathews, Dame Elvira Sibyl Maria [Vera] Laughton (1888–1959), director of the Women's Royal Naval Service, was born at 130 Sinclair Road, Hammersmith, Middlesex, on 25 September 1888, the daughter of Sir John Knox Laughton (1830–1915), naval instructor, and his second wife, Maria Josepha di Alberti (...

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Moore [née Feilding], Lady Dorothie Mary Evelyn (1889–1935), ambulance driver, was born at Newnham Paddox, Warwickshire, on 6 October 1889, the second daughter of Rudolph Robert Basil Aloysius Augustine Feilding, ninth earl of Denbigh (1859–1939), a colonel in the Territorial Army, and his wife, ...

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Nearne, Eileen Marie [Didi] (1921–2010), special operations officer, was born on 15 March 1921 at 406 Fulham Road, south Fulham, London, the younger daughter and youngest of four children of John Francis Nearne, a chemist's dispenser of English birth, and his wife, Mariquita, ...

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See Women agents on active service in France

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Anna Violet Thurstan (1879–1978) by unknown photographer by kind permission of the Hypatia Trust

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Thurstan, Anna Violet [Violetta] (1879–1978), nurse and weaver, was born at Claremont, Ore, Sussex, on 4 February 1879, the eldest child and only daughter of Edward Paget Thurstan (1851–1941), surgeon, and his wife, Anna, née Reid (b. 1851). Her grandfather was Joseph Thurstan (...

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Villameur, Lise Marie de Baissac [née Lise Marie de Boucherville Baissac] (1905–2004), special operations officer and member of the FANY, was born on 11 May 1905 in Curepipe, Mauritius, the middle child and only daughter of Marie-Louis Marc de Boucherville Baissac and his wife, ...