A Pilgrimage to Remember a Suffragette Heroine

In early June I drove to watch my grandson Archie play cricket for Corbridge under 13s against Morpeth. It was a lovely day for cricket (providing you were well wrapped up) and he was the captain of his side, so I was pleased to be out and about.

Whilst on my way to Morpeth, I thought of Clare Balding’s excellent TV programme about the centenary of the Derby race, when Emily Davidson was killed when she ran out onto the race track to attach a suffragette¬†scarf to the King’s horse. As Davidson’s family came from Morpeth, I resolved to go and pay my respects at her grave on the way home.

After the victory of Corbridge cricket team, I set off to drive to the church on the outskirts of Morpeth. The graveyard was bigger than I imagined, and I wandered about for some time before I found the grave. I’d expected other people to be there, especially that weekend, but there was no one else in the entire cemetery.

Emily Davidson’s family grave is a simple column surrounded by railings on which have been tied many ribbons in suffragette colours of purple and green. I’m glad she’s not forgotten, but wish we valued her cause rather more.Incidentally, Australia and New Zealand were ahead of us by¬†20 years in giving votes to women.

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