Suffragettes of Kent is my first book. It is published by Pen & Sword Ltd and includes many stories, and journeys of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those involved in the women's suffrage movement in Kent.
There were tours of Kent completed by the Women's Freedom League in 1908 and 1913 and the Women's Social and Political Union in 1913. I retraced these tours and include their messages and the reaction of the Kent inhabitants. Included is also a detailed account of the significant part Kent played in the 1913 mass pilgrimage to London by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.
Revealing the part Maidstone prison played in forcible feeding of suffragette prisoners, my book includes accounts by those who experienced such treatment including Annie Kenney. Other leading pioneers featuring are: Emmeline Pankhurst; Millicent Fawcett; Charlotte Despard; Christabel Pankhurst; Emily Wilding Davison; Jessie Kenney; Vera Wentworth; Elsie Howey; and Muriel Matters.
You can find out who in Kent signed the very first mass petition for votes for women in 1866 and who boycotted the 1911 census. Discover details of militant action and arson attacks in the county. Read accounts of how the Prime Minister at the time, Mr Asquith, and the Home Secretary, Mr Gladstone, were targeted in Kent by suffragettes.
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Over two evenings in March 1912, more than 250 women – old and young, rich and poor, strong and delicate – were arrested and charged with using hammers and stones to smash the windows of shops and offices across London. The youngest amongst them was 19-year-old teenager glass breaker and Kent working maid, Ethel Violet Baldock, whilst the eldest was 79-year-old Mrs Hilda Eliza Brackenbury, owner of suffragette safe house, Mouse Castle, in Campden Hill Square.
These two evenings would later become known as the Women’s Social and Political Union’s window smashing Great Militant Protest. The protest, driven by WSPU leader Emmeline Pankhurst, was against the government and their refusal to include women in their reform bill, which would give women the right to vote. Secret Missions of the Suffragettes examines this protest in great detail, before going on to explore 'behind the scenes' of the movement - the suffragette safe houses and rest homes as well as their daring escapes whilst under police surveillance, their self defence training and use of disguises, codes and alias names.
Discover the stories, motives, plans, tactics and antics of the suffragettes and their supporters and explore the connections, friendships and collaborations that helped shape the course of history for women in Britain.