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27 June 2008

Sybil Mounsey-Heysham.(1875 - ?) duck shot.

Sybil was born in Kensington, London, and raised in Dorset. She was known to her friends as 'Ba'.

Katherine Saomes, the mother of Olave, the future Lady Baden-Powell, wrote of the family friend, Sybil Mounsey-Heysham: 'a clever, original gentle, manly, astonishing and altogether delightful thing called Ba, who charms equally sportsman, child and critical woman - to which sex she officially belongs! This is, however, only a fact she cares to emphasize on rare occasions.'

Sybil had cropped hair and wore a collar and tie and tweeds, and bound the lower part of her trousers with puttees. She was reputed to be one of the three finest duck shots in Britain, and said that her father's head gamekeeper had taught her all that she knew. She had a gaunt, sharp featured face. She was generally unkempt with buttons missing and shoelaces trailing. It was frequently said of her that she should have been a man.

She never married.

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