Just as some male warriors have been driven by noble patriotism, or even crude blood-lust, some of their female counterparts have also exhibited the same callings through the years, as we shall see.
'... long hair was not uncommon, and the wearing of wigs for those who could afford them was widespread.'
For a woman to serve as a sailor or soldier was easier than you might think in the 18th- and 19th-century armies and navies of the dukes of Marlborough and Wellington. Medical inspections on enlistment were rare, and flowing coats and capes could disguise female curves, especially if the breasts were bound.
Go to the National Army Museum in Chelsea if you can, and look at some of the 18th-century military portraits. You’ll see that long hair was not uncommon, and the wearing of wigs for those who could afford them was widespread.
Also, with many young male drummers, ensigns and cornets aged as young as 12 around, a woman soldier's unbroken voice and lack of facial hair could be passed off as attributable to youth and immaturity. Habits of personal hygiene in this era meant that few troops stripped to the waist to wash, so a female body could be kept hidden, and was often only revealed as a result of illness or wounding.