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Alkin, Elizabeth [nicknamed Parliament Joan] (c. 1600–1655?), nurse and spy, was the wife of Francis Alkin, who was hanged as a spy in Oxford by royalist forces during the civil war. Alkin's activities are known largely from her surviving petitions for payment and relief (many of them undated or misattributed in ...

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Anderson, Louisa Garrett (1873–1943), surgeon and suffragette, was born at the house of her paternal uncle, 9 Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead, London, on 28 July 1873, the eldest of the three children and the only surviving daughter of James George Skelton Anderson (1838–1907), shipowner, and his wife, the pioneering physician ...

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Louisa Garrett Anderson (1873–1943) by Francis Dodd ? reserved / artist's estate / Royal Free Hospital

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Vera May Atkins (1908–2000) by unknown photographer ? reserved

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Atkins [formerly Rosenberg], Vera May (1908–2000), intelligence officer, was born in Galatz, Romania, on 15 June 1908, the only daughter and second of the three children of Max Rosenberg (d. 1932), businessman, and his wife, Hilda, née Atkins (d. 1945)...

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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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Bagot, Milicent Jessie Eleanor (1907–2006), intelligence officer, was born on 28 March 1907 at 68 York Mansions, Battersea, London, the younger daughter and second of three children of Cecil Villiers Bagot (1865–1940), a London solicitor, and his wife, Ethel (d. 1944), younger daughter of ...

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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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Barnett, Dame (Mary) Henrietta (1905–1985), air force officer, was born at Glasnevin, Barnes Close, in Winchester on 16 February 1905, the youngest child and second daughter of Colonel George Henry Barnett CMG DSO, and gentleman-at-arms, of the 60th rifles, and his wife, Mary Dorothea, ...

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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: 'The Devil, a General,' said the attendant. 'It's a woman. And a woman that has had a child' (...

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Batey [née Lever], Mavis Lilian (1921–2013), code-breaker and garden historian, was born on 5 May 1921 at 20 Crebor Street, Dulwich, London, the only daughter and younger child of Frederick (formerly Fred, later Stanley Frederick) Lever (1887/8–1971) and his wife, Lily Elizabeth, ...

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Beale, Dame Doris Winifred (1889–1971), nurse, was born on 9 August 1889 at 42 London Road, Sydenham, London, the daughter of George Beale, master draper, and his wife, Annie Maria, formerly King. Doris was educated at Prendergast School, Lewisham, and on leaving school she worked as a clerk before eventually embarking on nurse training at the ...

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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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See Women agents on active service in France

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See Women agents on active service in France

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Dame Sidney Jane Browne (1850–1941) by Langfier ? National Portrait Gallery, London