My Family’s Links To The Suffragette Movement

We made a short video, explaining some of the background to my book, The Suffragette! This was filmed in Morpeth in Northumberland, with the grave of Emily Wilding Davison as the backdrop:

The Suffragette movement was a broad church, with some people getting involved just through personal lobbying, while others, like my Great Aunt Bel, sold newspapers to raise funds for the cause. At the other end of the scale was civil disobedience (my family was not at home for the 1910 census), or even outright militancy.

Emily Wilding Davison was at the extreme end of this scale. On 4th June 1913 she was run down by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby, and died of her injuries several days later. Although her exact motivation for entering the race track was never resolved (had she simply intended to cross it? Was she trying to fix a banner or flag to the horse, so that it would cross the line carrying the WSPU colours? Did she intend martyrdom?), footage of the incident was captured by Pathé News, and remains to this day a potent symbol of how desperate was the struggle for women’s suffrage: