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Fearless. Dorothie Feilding's War, 1914-1917

Fearless. Dorothie Feilding's War, 1914-1917

The French marine fuseliers from Brittany who held the line in Nieuwpoort in 1915 were brisk and cheerful youngsters, sporting colourful sailors’ uniforms. ‘Playboys of Brittany’ the embedded war-correspondent Arthur Gleason dubbed them, and the Parisians knew them as ‘Les demoiselles au pompon rouge’, ‘the Ladies with the red pompoms’. But let this not mislead you: the marines had a reputation of being cunning and fierce fighters.

If they were remarkable and strikingly colourful in those dark days, their ambulance driver was even more so: she was an English lady, Dorothie Feilding, a daughter of the Warwickshire Earl of Denbigh. To have a woman at the front was unsual in those days. But she was real and stayed in Flanders at the side of her marines until 1917, saving hundreds of lives, facing horrendous circumstances. Along the way she won their hearts and the admiration of generals and kings. No wonder she was the first woman to be awarded the Military Medal.

"Fearless. Dorothie Feilding's War, 1914-1917" is based on historical research of hitherto unpublished documents and war journals and illustrated with photographs taken by Dorothie Feilding herself.
 

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