When it comes to the struggle for Votes for Women, most people will have heard of Emily Pankhurst. Possibly too Emily Wilding Davison, who stepped to her death in front of King George V’s horse Anmer as it galloped round Tattenham Corner in the 1913 Derby. The horse and jockey survived, but Miss Davison died of her injuries four days later in hospital.
However, almost equally important to the cause was a clergyman’s daughter from Malvern, force fed so brutally in prison her voice was permanently damaged. Elsie Howey was sent an illuminated scroll by the Pankhurst family in honour of her bravery.
Her remarkable story features in a new book Hidden Heroines: The Feisty Women who fought for Women’s Suffrage, which is co-authored by cultural history specialists Dr Maggie Andrews and Dr Janis Lomas of the University of Worcester with input from University students. It will be published by Crowood in December to mark the centenary of the first time women voted in a UK election.
Despite the toll campaigning and its consequences took on her frail form, Elsie lived until 1963 and was cremated at Worcester with her ashes scattered locally.