Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Women Warriors - Hannah Snell, Royal Marine

This is a story of a woman whose husband left her - so she went down to Portsmouth and joined the Royal Marines! The date was 1747, and her unit was sent out to India. She fought at Pondicherry in 1748, and at Devicotta in 1749 - she was injured eleven times in the legs, and once in the groin, but managed to keep her sex a secret. She was calling herself James Grey.
In 1750, her unit returned to Portsmouth, where she revealed her true identity. She was encouraged to approach the Duke of Cumberland, the head of the army, to ask for a pension - which she recieved.
She also shot to fame, appearing on stage in uniform doing military drill and singing. She also had her portrait painted. Her story was published as The Female Soldier by the publisher Robert Walker.
For a while, she kept a pub called The Female Warrior, and later she married twice more, and had two children.
Sadly, at the end of her life, in 1791, she had to be admitted to Bedlam, where she died.

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