From the cover of Diane Atkinson's book, "Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front":
Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisolm were the two most famous women of the First World War. They met at a motorcycle club in Bournemouth and when war broke out they roared off to London to 'do their bit'.
Within a month they were on the Western Front and had set up their own first-aid post. News of their courage and expertise spread back to Britain - journalists and photographers told their story, royals and VIP's visited them.
Elsie and Mairi were decorated with seventeen medals for bravery and self-sacrifice. It was the time of their lives, they were at the height of their looks and powers, but adjusting to peacetime life after four extraordinary years was more challenging for them than the war itself.
Diane Atkinson was born in the North-East and educated in Cornwall and London, where she completed a PhD on the politics of women's sweated labour. She taught history at secondary schools in London before moving to the Museum of London, where she worked as a lecturer and curator, specialising in women's history.
She is the author of two illustrated history books, 'Suffragettes in Pictures' and 'Funny Girls: Cartooning for Equality' and has also written three biographies, 'Love & Dirt: The marriage of Arthur Munby & Hannah Cullwick', 'Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front', and 'The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton'.
Image from the cover of "Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front" by Dr Diane Atkinson.