100 years ago today a very brave lady passed away in the Epsom cottage hospital.
Emily Wilding Davison was fatally injured during the Derby only 4 days previously, whilst trying, we now understand, to pin a flag to the kings horse.
As a long standing member of the Womens Suffrage movement, Emily was no stranger to dangerous situations and law breaking. She had been arrested and imprisoned 9 times previously and suffered 49 bouts of force feeding whilst on hunger strike.
What was really going through the mind of this lady on the morning of Derby day, we’ll never know, but I can only imagine the desperation and fury she felt at the situation of women in her day. Luckily thanks to her sacrifice we have a voice in the political situation in this country, and we all have the chance to make a choice over who governs us.
I watched this week the Channel 4 documentary on Emily and was horrified to hear of the hate mail which she received whilst in hospital, which seems echoed by the establishments treatment of these women. The vitriol with which they were talked of, and the anger shown towards them during their prostests is abhorrant.Whilst we must remember that society at the turn of the 20th century was very different, there would seem no excuse for this treatment of political protesters.
Is it any wonder that they became more radical in their approach to protest, following the poor treatment they received when trying to make their point peacefully?
So spare a thought today girls, that is is less than 100 years since we were given the right to vote. So when your voter registration card pops through the door, and when the election campaigns start up, you have a duty to those women, to use the power they fought so hard to give you!