Roberta Cowell was the first known British male-to-female transsexual to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Born Robert Cowell, he was a Spitfire pilot in World War II and a racing driver after the war. She had a vaginoplasty on May 15, 1951 via a surgical method invented and performed by Dr. Harold Gillies. This occurred 2 years before Christine Jorgensen’s surgery in Denmark. Roberta Cowell’s surgical transformation and friendship with the female-to-male transsexual Michael Dillon, also operated on by Dr. Harold Gillies, is documented in the book “The First Man-Made Man” by Pagan Kennedy.