Women’s History – Page 2 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Suffragette Newspapers

This year, 2018, is the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.  The Act which gave propertied women over the age of thirty, and all men over the age of twenty-one, the right to vote.  Over the course of 2018 we aim to digitise several suffragette and women’s newspapers.  These papers will allow us to explore the suffrage movement, and the social sphere of the women who campaigned for the right to vote. We are delighted

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Women and the Second World War

To wrap up our month of military posts, we have one last blog about the contribution of women during the Second World War (1939-1945).  Last week, we explored Women and the First World War.  In 1939, for a second time, Britain found itself embroiled in an international conflict, and women stepped forward to work in civil defence, armed forces, and industry.  Unlike any other country, for the first time, British women were conscripted into service.  On 18 December 1941, the

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Women and the First World War

First Worls War women firefighters

During the First World War (1914-1918), the role of women in Britain was massively altered and the women’s sphere was enlarged in every direction. Some historians mark the First World War as a watershed moment in women’s history when women were looked at less as fragile creatures and more as robust figures.  A single blog post is not enough to explore all the contributions of women during the Great War, but we have combed through The British Newspaper Archive and

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Suffragette slashes the Rokeby Venus

Mary Richardson, a Suffragette, slashed the Rokeby Venus painting at the National Gallery 100 years ago today. Read the stirring speech she gave at her trial, explaining her actions: View the whole newspaper page Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Friday 13 March 1914 Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.  

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The Attempt by Suffragettes to Burn Down Wimbledon – 1913

The fact that the green, purple and white colours of the Suffragette Movement are the exact same colours used by Wimbledon, has sometimes been commented upon. So as the Ladies’ semi-finals take place today, we thought we’d try and find some newspaper stories that bring together Wimbledon and the suffragettes. Oh, and we found some stories! Included below are two reports about the incident in 1913 when a suffragette attempted to burn down Wimbledon. Read some of the other historical

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Emily Wilding Davison – the Epsom Derby, 4th of June 1913

At the Epsom Derby on 4 June 1913, Emily Wilding Davison, an activist in the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), ran out on to the racecourse in an apparent attempt to attach the suffragette colours to the King’s horse, ‘Amner’. Tragically, the terrible injuries that she sustained in the collision with the horse and jockey, led to her death four days later – she never recovered consciousness. To celebrate her tremendous courage and her committed activism for the WSPU, here is

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What Made Suffragettes Laugh?

What made suffragettes laugh? It’s a question we’ve been musing on since learning that BBC4 is going to be broadcasting a sitcom about a deputation (we think that’s the proper collective noun) of suffragettes. All will be revealed on Thursday night! Being a curious bunch, we did a combination keyword search in the Archive on ‘suffragettes’ and ‘laughter’. Looking at the search results, they seemed to create a lot of laughter when they were appearing before various judges. Hmm. Somebody

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International Women’s Day – Newspaper Photos of Suffragettes from 1913

We love all the stories (and photos) in the Archive about the suffragette movement. Here is a 1913 photo of Mrs ‘General’ Drummond and Miss Kenney planning a ‘militant campaign’. Interestingly and revealingly, many of the photos have ‘has since been arrested’ in the caption. Also included below is a photo of Mrs Despard addressing a crowd in Trafalgar Square – again, the caption mentions that she is now in prison. The third photo shows the deputation (a collective noun

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What Every Lady Driver Should be Wearing – the Story of the First Woman to Drive a Taxicab in London

A regular visitor to the BNA website kindly shared this wonderful story with us. At its heart, the report tells the story of Sheila O’Neill, as she sets off on her new career as the first female taxicar driver in London. With her portfolio of nursing and mechanical skills, she sounds like the ideal professional driver. Not only that, but her unique uniform sounds like a thing of rare beauty – not to mention tres chic! Still further, to reassure

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