Emily Wilding Davison and the Suffragette Banner

Votes for Women

© Museum of London

  • Intro
    Teacher notes
    • Unlike the suffragists, the suffragettes believed in militant action to secure the vote for women. Often this involved risking their own lives in the hope of a more equal future for all women.

      Early calls for the vote for women came at the end of the 19th century with the suffragists however by the turn of the 20th century some women felt that more needed to be done. In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Womens Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U), a group willing to fight more ruthlessly for the vote for women.

      Despite their efforts women over the age of 30 were not given the vote until 1918, after the First World War, and women over 21 were not given the vote until 1928. You can learn more about their cause with our Topic Guide.

      One of the most famous events of the Suffragette movement was the death of Emily Wilding Davison who threw herself in front of the Kings horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. Emily died from her injuries a few days after the derby however this was not the first time she had risked her life for the Suffragette cause.

      In this video Beverly Cook, Curator of Social and Working History at the Museum of London, talks us through the hunger-strikers banner currently on display at the museum.

      The banner is embroidered with the signatures of 80 suffragette hunger-strikers including the famous Emily Wilding Davison. You can learn about some of the other women who's names appear on the banner in this video.
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