Source 12 - The Daily Sketch

Emily Davison was born in London in 1872. She joined the WSPU in 1906 and became heavily involved in its activities. Gradually, her actions become more militant; in 1909, she was arrested whilst attempting to hand a petition to the then Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. She was found guilty of causing a disturbance of the peace and was sentenced to a month in prison. Four months later she was in prison once again for gate crashing a speech made by David Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. On this occasion, she went on hunger strike and was released after five days. The same happened again in September 1909 but a few months later, prison authorities decided to force feed her and other inmates also on hunger strike.

Davison, convinced of the importance of militant action, attempted to raise the profile of the suffragettes' campaign on the 4th June 1913 at the Epsom Derby, the most important horse race of the year. As the race was underway, she ran out onto the course and tried to grab the bridle of the King's horse Anmer. Emily was seriously injured and died four days later.

Some publicity for the suffragettes was gained by her actions. However, more attention and concern was directed towards the horse and jockey.

The Daily Sketch published a photo of the aftermath of Davison's actions at the Epsom Derby on the front page on Thursday 5th June 1913. They also included a biography of Davison's life and her previous militant actions.

Taken from: The Daily Sketch
Date: 1913
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: LD19