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Dunkirk war hero who transitioned in old age dies at 99

Dunkirk war hero who transitioned in old age dies at 99

Louise Jennings - Dunkirk war hero

One of the oldest trans women in the UK has died, aged 99. Louise Jennings was a former British soldier who, aged 26, saw service on the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War.

She joined the army aged 20 in 1939 and served with the Durham Light Infantry 10th Battalion.

Assigned male at birth, she presented as a man for most of her life. She met her wife, Edith and the end of the war. For more than 40 years, the couple remained happily married.

Deciding to transition later in life

Louise never told Edith about her gender dysphoria, and it was only after Edith died in 1989 that Louise decided to undergo transition and gender confirmation procedures, at the age of 70. The couple did not have children.

‘I took the decision not long after Edith died,’ she said of the decision. ‘I don’t think I spent a long time thinking about it, I rather felt that I was wrong anyway.’

Jennings, who was a keen painter throughout her life, lived her final years in a rest home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. One of her paintings, drawn from her memories of Dunkirk, hangs in the city’s Graves Gallery.

Her funeral will take place at Beauchief Abbey in Sheffield on Friday 4 January. Friends hope former army veterans will show out in support, according to the Daily Mail.

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