James Barry was a famous English physician, a military surgeon who served in South Africa. At the end of his career he served as inspector general. He did not only treat wounded and sick soldiers of the British Army, but also improved the lives of indigenous people. Dr. Barry has become a hero of documentaries and fiction. English writer Patricia Duncker wrote a novel “James Miranda Barry” dedicated to Dr. Barry.
His real name was Margaret Ann Bulkley. Yes, he was a woman. Dr. James Barry became the first woman in England to go to medical school.
No one knows Dr. Barry’s real name, her birth date, or her family’s background. Some records show that she was born in 1795 in London.
James Barry’s classmates made fun of her because she didn’t have a beard and she was only five feet tall. But no one thought she was a girl. At the age of 20, Barry graduated from the University of Edinburgh as a Doctor of Medicine.