On June 4 1913, Emily Wilding Davison ran in front of the King’s horse during the Epsom Derby, was knocked unconscious, and died of her injuries four days later. Denied the right to be law-makers, vilified and brutally silenced by the state, the Suffragettes resorted to militancy and media-grabbing feats to make their Votes for Women campaign heard.

Emily was amongst the most militant of the thousands of women involved, and as a martyr, she became a symbol of the sacrifices that women endured then - and have endured ever since in their fight for equal rights. It was, for example, Emily’s falling under the horses and then being held up high by other Suffragettes that was used by Toby Sedgwick and Danny Boyle to depict the women’s rights campaign in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 (of which I was also proud to be a small part of with my daughter).

One hundred years after Emily’s fall, Epsom are pleased to confirm the centenary will be marked at the racecourse by the unveiling of a plaque during a private ceremony with Emily Davison’s family in April. The Emily Wilding Davison Memorial Campaign is also calling for a minute’s silence at the 2013 Derby Day in her memory. The silence is in Emily’s memory, but it is also on behalf of and in acknowledgement of all the other sacrifices women have endured in the campaign for equal rights.

[Read more: telegraph]


  • Centenary of Emily Wilding Davison’s death to be marked by plaque at Epsom (telegraph.co.uk)
  • Suffragette autograph album illuminates movement’s struggles (guardian.co.uk)
  • Women in History: Emmeline Pankhurst (thehobbitings.wordpress.com)