war wounds

intercourse is not essential

Colonel Leslie Barker (1889-1960) was a boxer, cricketer, farmer, teashop manager, butler, Fascist and a soldier in the Home Guard. She was also a woman.

spermatic truss

Beginning life as Lillias Valerie, she was educated in a convent for young ladies, married an Australian then had two children to another Australian before taking up life as a man. She later married the daughter of a pharmacist, blaming her inability to consumate the marriage on “war wounds”.

love is my profession

Lillias Arkell-Smith, a lesbian masquerading as Colonel Sir Victor Ivor Gauntlett Blyth Barker (man-about-town, huntsman and cricketer), had wooed a Brighton woman, married her at St Peter’s church and honeymooned at the Grand Hotel. Lillias, regarded as a ‘mad pervert of the most undesirable kind‘, was found guilty of describing herself as a bachelor in a register of marriage and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment. The Evening Argus muttered to its readers that ‘there are obvious difficulties in discussing the case’.


After being released, under the name of Ivor Gauntlett, she pursued a career as an actor before drifting to jobs as a boxing club trainer, furniture dealer and dog kennel manager. Later she reverted to being Victor again and by 1937 she was attracting enormous crowds to her show, entitled On a Strange Honeymoon, in Blackpool, where she portrayed Colonel Barker.

lowenstein's external penile splint

(external penile splint)

When she died in 1960 the name on her death certificate was given as Geoffrey Norton, aka Lilias Irma Valerie Arkell-Smith. The village  neighbours in Suffolk had no idea Geoffrey was anything other than the mild mannered husband of her surviving wife, Eva.


Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 8:12 am  Comments (37)  

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37 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ivor Gauntlett!!…. great name Ivor …. so many possibilities when joined up with some surnames… snigger so childish ….

  2. That external penile sling would ruin the cut of any mans troosers, not to mention bring tears to the eye of his missus.

    • I love it when you say troosers……

  3. “Tell him I can’t have babies! Tell him my insides are all wrong! EDWARD! EDWARD! EDWARD!”


    Excellent show. Have you seen Psychoville? It may not yet be available in Australia if you aren’t local.

    • No, haven’t seen it. But it looks great – hope it reaches us soon

    • But, if you were to…….come back here……and……touch them..

      • Hello, hello, what’s all this shouting? We’ll have no trouble here! This is a decent blog and a local post. There’s nothing for you here!

      • I’m sure Barbara would be interested in this post…

      • you guys crack me up…..

  4. The Brit Army most senior surgeon in the last 1800’s was found, at death, to have been a woman who had given birth but lived life as a male.

    • And his name was James Barry;


      • I see there’s a new movie being made about James Barry’s life….. should be interesting

      • I think that’s the Alice in Wonderland one, not mine, so to speak!

      • No, I think it’s ‘your’ one


      • Well slap my thigh with a dead kipper!

        2 new films about James Barry, spooky.

        Apologies for trying to score a cheap point over nursemyra.

        Note to self. Check all Google refs before speaking out of arse.

      • Well, I got the information from the link that you left….. 🙂

  5. I wonder if she left the toilet seat up?

  6. That splint looks like someone did something desperate and resourceful with a coat hanger. And I hope it was only used for hanging coats.

  7. “War wounds”? S/he must have had the world’s strongest tongue, to get away with that.

  8. Evr wondr what a less undesirable kind o mad pervert would be like?

    • Yeah but I only want to meet the desirable kind. She sounds like fun – war wounds notwithstanding

  9. That external penile splint looks like it would be terribly uncomfortable to wear. And when things are uncomfortable things don’t work well.

    Too bad that women had to pretend to be men in order to do the work they wanted to do.

  10. “mad pervert of the undesirable kind…”

    Strange, I never thought there was such a thing…

  11. I think that ‘A Mad Pervert of the Most Undesirable Kind’ was the working title of “The Crying Game.” She sure was an industrious girl wasn’t she? She had a more rounded CV than Frank Abagnale.

    • I loved that film

      • I did too.

  12. wonder if she/he ever paid taxes?

  13. Can’t stand the League of Gentlemen – they are all very ugly …… is that soooooooo wrong …….

    • “you’re my wife now” daddyp…….. 😉

      • “Hello Dave!”

        The best line I remember from the League of Gentlemen from the short time it played in America was: “I once saw daddy beat a man until both he and the man were crying.”

        It’s also the show that gave me the phrase “shaking hands with the governor of love.”

  14. Madame Butterfly sans overture!

  15. I still have nightmares about the ‘league of gentlemen’…

  16. This reminds me of a story about a woman who became a singer by the name of Billy Tipton and everyone thought she was a man. She disguised her true gender well. She even had a female lover who was unaware of her secret for some time. This was back in the 50s I belive.

  17. That first image – white and colored post-intercourse prophylactic stations! I’ve never seen a white one – most are either red or purple. Just saying – – –

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