Dame Alice Josephine Mary Taylor Barnes

Dame Alice Josephine Mary Taylor Barnes, DBE was born 18 August 1912 and died December 28 1999 known professionally as Dr Josephine Barnes she was a leading obstetrician and gynaecologist. She was educated at Oxford High School in North Oxford and the University of Oxford, reading Natural Sciences at Lady Margaret Hall. She then studied medicine at University College, London. When the Second World War started she was appointed to a post at the Samaritan Hospital. From 1947 she ran a mobile obstetric team from University College Hospital. Barnes was the first woman consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Charing Cross Hospital (1954) and the first woman President of the British Medical Association (1979–80). She was also Chairman of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital Appeal Trust, President of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (known since 1994 as the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health) from 1977 to 1995, and President of the Royal British Nurses’ Association. She took a prominent role in the public debate over the 1967 Abortion Act. In 1994 she delivered the Hunterian Oration at the Hunterian Society.

Vera Mary Brittain

Vera Mary Brittain was born December 29 1893 and died March 29 1970 she was a British writer, feminist and pacifist, best remembered as the author of the best-selling 1933 memoir Testament of Youth, recounting her experiences during World War I and the beginning of her journey towards pacifism. Vera Brittain wrote from the heart and based many of her novels on actual experiences and actual people. In this regard her novel Honourable Estate (1936) was in part more of a memoir. In the 1920s she became a regular speaker on behalf of the League of Nations Union, but in June 1936 she was invited to speak at a peace rally in Dorchester She was a practical pacifist in the sense that she helped the war effort by working as a fire warden and by travelling around the country raising funds for the Peace Pledge Union’s food relief campaign. She was vilified for speaking out against saturation bombing of German cities through her 1944 booklet Massacre by Bombing. Her principled pacifist position was vindicated somewhat when, in 1945, the Nazis’ Black Book of 2000 people to be immediately arrested in Britain after a German invasion was shown to include her name. From the 1930s onward, Brittain was a regular contributor to the pacifist magazine Peace News. She eventually became a member of the magazine’s editorial board, and during the 1950s and 1960s was “writing articles against apartheid and colonialism and in favour of nuclear disarmament”.

Fiona Elizabeth Bruce

Fiona Elizabeth Bruce was born April 25 1964 she was originally born in Singapore but grew up in the UK she began working in the television industry in 1989 and is still working now. She was a producer on Panorama then decided to make the jump to presenting, from 1994-95 she was a reporter on the BBC2 current affairs programme Public Eye. In 1999, as part of a major re-launch of the BBC’s news output, Bruce was named secondary presenter of the Six OÂ’clock News bulletin. She presented the programme as cover for main presenter Huw Edwards as well as regularly on Fridays until a presenter reshuffle in January 2003 to coincide with the retirement of Michael Buerk and the move of Peter Sissons to the BBC News channel. From 1994-95 she was a reporter on the BBC2 current affairs programme Public Eye. By becoming presenter, she became the first woman to present the bulletin from launch in 2000. More recently, Bruce has once again taken up the role of Friday presenter and main relief presenter on the BBC’s Six O’Clock News. Bruce has often been outspoken regarding her commitment to feminism but has since relaxed on her views.

Wendy Cope

Wendy Cope OBE was born July 21 1945 is an award-winning contemporary English poet. She read history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Following her graduation from St Hilda’s College, Cope spent fifteen years as a primary-school teacher. In 1981, she became Arts and Reviews editor for the Inner London Education Authority magazine, Contact. Four collections of her adult poetry have been published, making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis in 1986, Serious Concerns in 1992, If I Don’t Know in 2001, and Family Values in 2011. She has also edited several anthologies of comic verse and was a judge of the 2007 Man Booker Prize. In 1998, she was voted the listeners’ choice in a BBC Radio 4 poll to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate. When Andrew Motion’s term as Poet Laureate came to an end in 2009, Cope was again widely considered a popular candidate, although she believes the post should be discontinued. Carol Ann Duffy succeeded Motion as Poet Laureate. In 2008 Cope’s poem “After The Lunch” was used as the lyric of the song “Waterloo Bridge” by jazz composer and musician Jools Holland and singer Louise Marshall.

Emilia Fox

Emilia Fox was born July 31 1974 she is an award winning actress. She first appeared as Georgiana, the sister of Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy, in the 1995 television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In 2003, she played Jane Seymour in a two-part television biographical film about King Henry VIII She also starred in Things To Do Before You’re 30, with Billie Piper, who would later marry her first cousin Laurence Fox. She was educated at the independent Bryanston School where she played the cello, and the University of Oxford where she read English at Jesus College, Oxford. Fox is a patron for environment and human rights charity the Environmental Justice Foundation. Since 1995 she has acted in over 30 television programs and still plays Dr. Nikki Alexander in the hit shoe Silent Witness. Another impressive achievement since 1999 she has starred in over 20 films with people such as Daniel Craig as her co-star. She also won Best Actress for her role in the 2003 Prendimi l’anima – Sabina Spielrein.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson was born January 6 1960 She is not a trainged chef or cook. After graduating from Oxford University she became book reviewer and restaurant critic later becoming the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986. Her love of food started to cross-over into her writing when she was asked to write a food column for The Spectator magazine. Published in 1998 her first book, ‘How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food’, was the springboard to her Channel 4 TV series, ‘Nigella Bites’. Thanks to Nigella’s unique approach to food and effortless charm, the show became a huge success and the second series was accompanied by another book, which helped push her worldwide book sales past the 1.5 million mark. She is successful in America having had television shows and successful cook books there. It is thought that her books have now sold over three million copies worldwide and that she is worth $15 million.