After her husband’s alliance with Rome was ignored after his death, her daughters raped, and she tortured by Roman soldiers, led the Iceni, Trinovantes, and other indigenous British tribes in revolt. Captured the city of Camulodunum and systematically demolished it, followed by Londinium and Verulamium, slaughtering 80,000 Romans along the way. Though ultimately defeated, the rebellion led the Romans to take a much more conciliatory stance to the native Britons, and never fully conquered the island. (Boudica)
Traveled to the Crimea on independently-raised funds, as racial prejudice among the War Office blocked her from being sent officially, bringing with her a knowledge of tropical medicine. Built a hostel for sick and convalescing soldiers from salvaged driftwood, packing cases, and iron sheets, and salvaged architectural items, which was by all accounts an extraordinary success. Left the Crimea destitute, but was so beloved by the soldiers she had helped that a benefit concert held in her honor comprised of performances byover 1,000 artists, including 11 military bands and an orchestra conducted by Louis Antoine Jullien, and was attended by a crowd of circa 40,000. Later counted the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Cambridge, and Count Geichen (a nephew of Queen Victoria) amongst her patrons and friends. (Mary Seacole)
Led her own feudal army on the Second Crusade, alongside her husband, the King of France. After that crusade turned sour and she got fed up with her marriage, she got it annulled and then married the future King of England. Administered her own duchy, and held court there temporarily, where she helped shape and promote the troubadour culture further. After outliving her second husband, administered England in her son’s name (Richard Lionheart) while he was on crusade. Caused many scandals and was the horror of conservative clergymen. (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
Best known for Chick’s law giving the relationship between the kill efficiency of organisms and contact time with a disinfectant (still used, as the Chick-Watson Equation). Studied the nutritional factor causing rickets, and proving that fat-soluble vitamins present in cod liver oil, or exposure to ultra violet light, could cure and prevent rickets in children. Prior to her contributions a significant percentage of children had rickets. Served as secretary of the League of Nations health section committee on the physiological bases of nutrition from 1934 to 1937. (Dr. Harriette Chick)
Maintained wireless radio communication between Nazi-occupied Paris and Britain for over a year, even after the rest of her crew were captured, before being betrayed to the Germans, who killed her in Dachau. Posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest non-combat award in Britain, the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star, and a Mention in Dispatches. (Noor Inayat Khan)
Wrote the programming of the first computer and contributed hugely to Charles Babbage’s plans of the Analytical Engine, which was never built. (Ada Lovelace)
Wrote six of the best loved books in literature. Books that have spawned many television and film productions, as well as plays, radio-plays and even other books.
Performed the X-ray diffraction and calculations that allowed Watson and Crick to ascertain the structure of DNA. (Rosalind Franklin)