Emily Wilding Davison was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was arrested on nine occasions, went on hunger strike seven times and was force fed on forty-nine occasions. She died after being hit by King George V’s horse Anmer at the 1913 Derby when she walked onto the track during the race. Her funeral on 14 June 1913 was organised by the W SPU.
About Emily Davison in brief
Emily Wilding Davison was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was arrested on nine occasions, went on hunger strike seven times and was force fed on forty-nine occasions. She died after being hit by King George V’s horse Anmer at the 1913 Derby when she walked onto the track during the race. Davison grew up in a middle-class family, and studied at Royal Holloway College, London, and St Hugh’s College, Oxford. She joined the WSPU in November 1906 and became an officer of the organisation and a chief steward during marches. Her tactics included breaking windows, throwing stones, setting fire to postboxes and, on three occasions, hiding overnight in the Palace of Westminster. She considered that socialism was a moral and political force for good. Her funeral on 14 June 1913 was organised by the W SPU. A procession of 5,000 suffragettes and their supporters accompanied her coffin and 50,000 people lined the route through London. Her coffin was then taken by train to the family plot in Morpeth, Northumberland. She gave no prior explanation for what she planned to do at the Derby and the uncertainty of her motives and intentions has affected how she has been judged by history. Several theories have been put forward, including accident, suicide, or an attempt to pin a suffragette banner to the king’s horse. Her parents were Charles Davison, a retired merchant, and Margaret née Caisley, both of Mor peth, northumberland, who married in 1868.
Emily was the third of four children born to the couple; her younger sister died of diphtheria in 1880 at the age of six. Her father died in early 1893 and she was forced to end her studies because her mother could not afford the fees of £20 a term. On leaving Holloway, Davison became a live-in governess, and continued studying in the evenings. In 1902 she began reading for a degree at the University of London; she graduated with third-class honours in 1908. In 1908 or 1909 she left her full-time teaching job to campaign for women’s suffrage. She began taking increasingly confrontational actions, which prompted Emmeline Pankhurst to describe her as “to describe her as \”one of the most daring and daring and militant militants” She was sentenced to a month in prison in the execution of their duty in the month of March 1909. In March 1909 she was arrested for the first time; she had been part of a march from Caxton Hall to see the prime minister, H. H. Asquith, see the deputation of 21 women who marched to see H.H. Hith, the march ended in a fracas with police. She left her job to become an officer in the WspU and became a full time member. She spent a year studying in Dunkirk, France, then went to a church school in Edgbaston, where she found it difficult.