Flora Sandes

Flora Sandes was the only British woman officially to serve as a soldier in World War I. Initially a St. John Ambulance volunteer, she travelled to Serbia, where she enrolled in the Serbian army. Flora was the daughter of a Suffolk rector but was set on becoming a soldier; spending her childhood [...]

Queen Zenobia

Zenobia was a 3rd-century Queen of the Palmyra who led a revolt against the Roman Empire. She claimed descent from Cleopatra and the Ptolemies and her mother may have been Egyptian. Zenobia became the wife of Odaenathus, king and ruler of the Roman colony of Palmyra in present-day Syria, and [...]

Christian “Kit” Cavanagh

Christian ‘Kit’ Cavanagh was an Irishwoman who fought in the British army as a dragoon during the 17th and early 18th centuries. Kit Cavanagh was a bit of a wild child and as a teenager and, when her behaviour became too much for her mother, went to live with an aunt who ran a public house in [...]

Hannah Snell

Hannah Snell was born in Worcester in 1723 and at the age of 17, when her parents died, she moved to London and moved in with her sister. Here she met and married a Dutch sailor, James Summs. He abandoned her after only a few months, leaving her pregnant with his child. As soon as she had given [...]

Margaret Bulkley

Born around 1790, Margaret Ann Bulkley, known throughout her adult life as James Barry, was a military surgeon in the British Army. Details of Margaret’s early life are sketchy but it seems that she was born in Ireland and, due to the financial hardship the family suffered, travelled to by [...]