Elizabeth I’s servant, a river ascent and a WW2 doctor: 3 things that happened On This Day 20 August

What happened on this day in history? We round up three famous events, births, battles and deaths...


20 August

1902: Birth of Scottish doctor Margaret Henderson Thompson. A prisoner of the Japanese on Sumatra during the Second World War, she helped provide medical care for her fellow inmates and in 1943, while still in captivity, she was awarded the MBE.


1841: Under the command of Captain HD Trotter RN, the steamers Albert, Wilberforce and Soudan began their ascent of the Niger River.

1580: Death of Sir George Bowes. A loyal servant of Elizabeth I, he oversaw the transfer of Mary, Queen of Scots from Carlisle to Bolton Castle in 1568. In 1569 he held Barnard Castle against the northern rebels for two weeks.


Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules