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Paper Lace may have sung "Billy, Don't Be A Hero", but, fortunately for the rest of us mere mortals, over the years, there have been many folk who have been willing to risk their lives for the benefit of mankind.

Can you identify the real and legendary heroes from the clues given below?

So, take a deep breath, put on a brave face and go for it!

1.   Born on 22 February 1857 in London, who was the English soldier who became a national hero for his 217-day defence of Mafeking (1899-1900) in the South African War, and who, in 1907, founded the Boy Scout Movement?

2.   Known as the Red Baron, who was Germany's top aviator and leading ace in World War I, personally credited with shooting down eighty enemy aircraft?

3.   Who was the 21-year old Prague philosophy student who, in January 1969, burned himself to death in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia?

4.   Name the hero of jungle adventures in nearly thirty novels and dozens of motion pictures, first appearing in a magazine story in 1912, the creation of the American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs.

5.   A symbol of man's foredoomed struggle against the machine and of the black man's tragic battle with the white man, who was the hero of a widely-sung American black folk ballad, describing his contest with a steam drill in which he crushed more rock than the machine but died "with his hammer in his hand"?

6.   Who was the legendary outlaw hero, many tales of whom show him and his companions robbing the rich to give to the poor, and whose most frequent adversary was the Sheriff of Nottingham?

7.   Name the German industrialist who saved more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazi concentration camps by employing them in his enamelware factory in Kracow, and then in an armaments factory that he set up in Czechoslovakia in 1944.

8.   A peasant from Bürglen in the canton of Uri in the 13th and early 14th centuries, who was the Swiss legendary hero who defied Austrian authority and was forced to shoot an apple from his son's head?

9.   Based on the experiences of merchants from Basra (Iraq) trading under great risk with the East Indies and China, probably in the early 'Abbasid period, name the hero in "The Thousand and One Nights" who recounts his adventures on seven voyages.

10.  The Knight of the Swan, hero of German versions of a legend widely known in various forms from the European Middle Ages onward, who was the mysterious knight who arrives, in a boat drawn by a swan, to help a noble lady in distress?  He marries her but forbids her to ask his origin; she later forgets this promise, and he leaves her, never to return.

11.  Born c.2 November 1734, who was the early American frontiersman and legendary hero who blazed the Wilderness Road through  the Cumberland Gap, a natural pass in the Appalachian Mountains near the point where Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky meet?

12.    Written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Jerry Shuster, who was the 20th-century American comic-strip superhero who was sent as a baby to Earth by his parents from their home on the doomed planet Krypton?

13.   Immortalised in a ballad by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was the folk hero of the American Revolution, whose dramatic horseback ride on the night of 18 April 1775, warned Boston-area residents that the British were coming?

14.     Portrayed in the 1958 film "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness", who was the English missionary who, in 1932 helped found an inn in Yangsheng, and later, during the Sino-Japanese War, made a perilous journey to lead 100 children to safety?

15.   Who was the British airman, who, despite having lost both legs in a flying accident in 1931, saw action as a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain (1940-41), and whose story was told in the Paul Brickill book "Reach for the Sky"?

16.   During the sinking of the "Titanic", who was the lady that helped command a lifeboat, rowing and directing the oars, and afterwards, on the rescue ship "Carpathia", assisted in nursing the survivors? The American press celebrated her as a heroine for her actions, and gave her the  nickname "Unsinkable".

17.   The daughter of a lighthouse keeper on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, England, this heroine came to fame in September 1838 when she and her father rowed through a storm to rescue the survivors of the wrecked ship "Forfarshire".

18.    Born on 7 December 1827 in Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan, who was one of the leaders in the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate who later rebelled in the weaknesses in the Imperial government that he had helped to restore, and whose participation in the restoration made him a legendary hero, but, to his mortification, relegated his samurai class to impotence?

19.   The son of desperately poor Texan sharecroppers, who was the most bemedalled American soldier in World War II, having twenty-four decorations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, and who later became a film star, playing himself in the story of his war experiences "To Hell and Back"?

20.    Name the French national heroine who led the French armies against the English in the Hundred Years' War, relieving besieged Orleans (1429), and ensuring that Charles VII could be crowned in previously-occupied Reims. Convicted of heresy, she was burned at the stake by the English.

21.    Heroine of the Battle of Monmouth Court House, New Jersey on 28 June 1778, during the American War of Independence, when she repeatedly carried water to cool both cannons and the exhausted and wounded soldiers in her husband's regiment, who, according to popular legend, when her husband collapsed from the scorching heat that day, took his place at the cannon.

22.   Which island in the Mediterranean was awarded the George Cross by King George VI of Britain, in recognition of the islanders' bravery, withstanding long bombing raids by the German Luftwaffe, during the Second World War?

   

23.    Born Araminta Greene, who was the American bondswoman who escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading Abolitionist before the American Civil War, and who led hundreds of bondsmen to freedom in the North along the route of the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses organised for that purpose?

24.   Name the Thracian gladiator who, in 73BC, led a slave revolt that defeated several Roman armies before it was suppressed, and who later became a hero to revolutionaries - the early German Marxists calling themselves after him.

25.    Who, a hero of the oldest known Old Russian byliny, (traditional heroic folk chants), is presented as the principal bogatyr (knight-errant) at the 10th-century court of Saint Vladimir I of Kiev, (although with characteristic epic vagueness he often participates in historic events of the 12th century!)?

26.    Born on 4 December 1865 in Swardeston, Norfolk, who was the English nurse who became a popular heroine of World War I and was executed for assisting Allied soldiers to escape from German-occupied Belgium?

27.   Elected on the ticket of the Whig Party as a hero of the Mexican War (1846-48), name the president of the United States who died only sixteen months after taking office.

28.    Also called El Campeador (The Champion), by what name was the Castilian military leader and national hero, Rodrigo (or Ruy) Diaz de Vivar more popularly known?

29.   Who was the Vietnamese general and emperor who won back independence for Vietnam from China in 1428, founded the Later Le dynasty, and became the most honoured Vietnamese hero of the medieval period?

30.    Born on 20 June 1899 in Beziers, who was the French civil servant and hero of the Résistance during World War II, who played a leading part in the organisation of the Maquis (French guerrillas who fought the Germans) and in the development of the National Council of the Résistance?

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