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23 January 2010

Albert F. (188? - ?) printer.

Originally from the north of England, she had been wife to a man for several years, but the marriage broke up when both their children died. She then became sexually involved with a woman.

Partly from fear that her husband would turn up, she moved to North London, became Albert and got a job as a printer. Albert did well in the job and was earning 'very high wages even for a man'.

After war started in 1914, five of his co-workers volunteered for the forces. By 1916 Albert was called up. His employer appealed that he was indispensable.

However he was required to appear before the recruitment medical examining board. He requested permission for a private medical examination because of a cardiac condition. This was refused and the examination soon revealed his biological sex.

The story got into the newspapers, and Albert despite his employer's objections was barred from the printing profession. He left London and went to live with relatives in the north.
  • “Woman’s Attempt to Join the Army”. Hornsey Journal. Aug 18, 1917.
  • Julie Wheelwright. Amazons and Military Maids: Women who dressed as men in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Pandora 1989: 44-6

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