Heroes of: Gertrude Bell
Bell both studied and made history
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell is born on 14 July in County Durham in the northeast of England.
She begins studying at Oxford University and becomes the first woman to get a first-class degree in modern history.
Her first book, Persian Pictures, is published, documenting stories and photos from her travels.
Bell makes her first journey to the Middle East and visits Tehran, where her uncle is a British diplomat.
After British troops take Baghdad, Bell is appointed as oriental secretary, responsible for relations with the Arab population.
Bell attends colonial secretary Winston Churchill’s Cairo Conference to establish the boundaries of Iraq.
She opens the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, later renamed the Iraqi Museum, to preserve Mesopotamian history.
On 12 July, Gertrude Bell dies aged 57 from an overdose of sleeping pills in Baghdad.
Gertrude Bell was an archaeologist, linguist, explorer, mountaineer, writer, photographer and political officer Gertrude Bell (centre) with Mr and Mrs Winston Churchill (left) and Lawrence of Arabia (second from right) in Egypt, 1921
Bell enjoying a picnic with Iraq’s King Faisal (second from right) in Saudi Arabia in 1922