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What makes a hero?

Sir Ralph Fiennes describes the heroes who have most impressed him and why. The Times doesn't provide a link to their article, so we've taken his heroes and provided links of our own.

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Eyam, the bravest village in England? Image: Howard Maunders

Howard Maunders of Beautiful Britain tells the incredible story of Eyam villagers in Derbyshire, who, at the sacrifice of their own lives, closed down their village in 1665 in a valiant and successful attempt to keep the plague from spreading to neighbouring villages.

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Fiennes also names Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson (scroll to end of file); the horrifying story of PC Dick Coombes, a hero of the Broadwater Farm riots who had already received five bravery awards; and Gladys Aylward, a tiny woman missionary in China, who rescued girls from foot-binding and orphans without families, helped them to escape from the Japanese invasion, single-handedly quelled a prison riot, and reformed prisons.

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