A BUDDHIST teacher from Kendal says she is "honoured and delighted" to take her place alongside pioneers such as nurse Florence Nightingale and prison reformer Elizabeth Fry on a list of "First Women".

Jacquetta Gomes is the world's first ever female Buddhist Fire Chaplain and her milestone achievement has been recorded by academic Carrie de Silva in her inventory of eminent women. The listings include such luminaries as Noble Prize winning scientist Marie Curie, fashion designer Coco Chanel, first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova and even two pigeons who earned medals for wartime gallantry.

Back in July 2015, the Gazette reported how Jacquetta made history for her faith upon becoming a fire chaplain for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, complete with full uniform and steel toe-capped boots, and also serving as a temporary chaplain with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. Fire chaplains may be called upon at any time to attend emergencies or to help care for firefighters and staff by listening to them in confidence.

Ms de Silva, who compiled First Women, is a principal lecturer at Harper Adams University in Newport, Shropshire. She described her list as "necessarily incomplete, and somewhat random", covering milestones by women in law, government, the professions, art and culture. They include:

- Hannah Glasse, first published cookery book author

- US First Lady Martha Washington

- Marie Lloyd, first £100-a-week music hall performer

- Marie Curie, Nobel Prize winner for physics and chemistry

- Nancy Astor, sitting MP

- Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, first name on scent (Chanel No 5)

- Amelia Earhart, solo pilot over Atlantic

- pigeons White Vision and Winkie, PDSA Dickin Medal for Gallantry, 1943

- Eleanor Roosevelt, president of UN Commission on Human Rights

- Vera Lynn, first UK singer to have US number one

- Valentina Tereshkova, first women in space flight

- Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of UK

- Katy Cropper, winner of One Man and His Dog

- Stella Rimington, M15 director general

- Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate

- Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.

Jacquetta, whose husband Titus is also a Buddhist teacher, said: "Naturally I am honoured and delighted to be included in such a list, alongside wonderful inspirational women including Nobel Prize winners. The publication includes women I was taught to respect as a child, including Elizabeth Fry and Florence Nightingale. All the women on the list have fulfilled important pioneering roles."

She said her fire chaplain role had been "made possible by the hard work and dedication of other men and women who came before me", adding: "I am sorry my father who served with London Fire Brigade is no longer alive to hear about this."

Kendal's deputy mayor, Cllr Guy Tirvengadum, has invited academic Carrie de Silva to speak at the town hall this summer. "I am delighted that a Kendal resident is represented in such an important publication which includes women who have contributed to society and given great service," he said.

To view the list, visit https://cdn.harper-adams.ac.uk/document/profile/180327-First-Women-the-first-women-ini-law-government-897493.pdf