Visit to Emily Davison’s Grave

As I transfer some material from my Tumblr account to my blog, here is a post that I first put online in August 2011:

A few months ago, I took a trip to do a little research and visit some friends in Morpeth, a town north of Newcastle in the UK.  I knew that Emily Davison, the campaigner for women’s suffrage, was buried there.  So, my friends and I decided to take a visit to her grave.  We arrived a few days after International Women’s Day.  Flowers and notes had been placed on the memorial, remembrances from individuals, groups, and even town councils.

Most people remember Emily Davison as a martyr for women’s rights who died after she was run over by King  George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913.  While the event was a pivotal one in the history of women’s rights, it often overshadows Emily Davison’s life and the things that she fought for.

For an introduction to some of the literature on her and her friends and associates, see Elizabeth Crawford, The women’s suffrage movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928 (2001), 159-63.

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Here’s a poem that she wrote in 1912, titled ‘L’Envoi’:

Stepping onwards, oh my comrades!
Marching fearless through the darkness,
Marching fearless through the prisons,
With the torch of freedom guiding!

See the face of each is glowing,
Gleaming with the love of freedom;
Gleaming with a selfless triumph,
In the cause of human progress!

Like the pilgrim in the valley,
Enemies may oft assail us,
Enemies may close around us,
Tyrants, hunger, horror, brute-force.

But the glorious dawn is breaking,
Freedom’s beauty sheds her radiance;
Freedom’s clarion call is sounding,
Rousing all the world to wisdom.

Below are a few of the pictures that I took while at Emily Davison’s grave.  Her “Aberdeen Friend” was Edith Morrison.

Memorial to Emily Davison Memorial to Emily DavisonMemorial to Emily DavisonMemorial to Emily Davison

 

 

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