Morpeth - a little bit of history
Learning from history
In his younger years Winston Churchill was very much opposed to allowing women the vote. He is alleged to have said or written, " Women are well represented by their fathers, brothers and husbands". Even when he voted in 1904 in favour of a women's suffrage bill, he was no more than a lukewarm supporter. It was not until 1928 that women here in the UK got the vote on the same terms as men! Is there a parallel to be drawn between the struggle that the suffragettes underwent here in the early part of the last century and that of the brave women in Afghanistan who are currrently protesting about the clampdown on women's rights following the recent takeover by the Taliban?
EMILY WILDING DAVISON
June 4th 1913 was the day of the Epsom Derby and at 15.10, just after the leading horses had rounded Tattenham Corner, Emily Wilding Davison, a militant suffragette, ran out from under the railings and into path of two trailing horses. Anmer, the King’s horse, struck Emily with his chest and pitched onto its head while the jockey, Herbert Jones, was thrown and rendered unconscious. The injuries Davison suffered would lead to her death four days later from a fractured skull. Her memorial stone bears the words “Deeds not words”.
HER MEMORIAL STONE AT STHER MEMORIAL STONE AT MARY THE VIRGIN MORPETH
Now, whether you see Ms Davison as a heroine or as someone who was mis-guided in her method of protest, she was certainly a woman of conviction. She was buried in Morpeth, a market town just off the A1, some 15 miles North of Newcastle upon Tyne and 28 miles from Stonyfield Cottage in Rochester. Many people visit her grave to pay tribute to her. What's your perspective on the suffragette movement? Some of the women famously protested by chaining themselves to railings and when imprisoned for their trouble, a number of them went on hunger-strike only to find themselves being force-fed, a gruesome and dangerous procedure with risk of rupturing the oesophagus causing death! A number of militant suffragettes protested with acts of arson, undoubtedly putting the lives of others at risk. Do the ends always justify the means? I think not. How about you?
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