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Suffragettes100: East London campaigners honoured with Parliament Square statue

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:49 06 February 2018

The statue of Millicent Fawcett Picture: Caroline Teo/GLA

The statue of Millicent Fawcett Picture: Caroline Teo/GLA

Caroline Teo/GLA

The names of some of east London’s lesser-known campaigners in the suffrage movement have been included on a statue marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act.

The statue of Millicent Fawcett showing some of the faces on the plinth Picture: Caroline Teo/GLAThe statue of Millicent Fawcett showing some of the faces on the plinth Picture: Caroline Teo/GLA

The statue, which depicts Millicent Fawcett, has been deisgned by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing and will be unveiled in Parliament Square in the spring.

Inscribed on the statue’s plinth will be the names and faces of 59 men and women who campaigned for women’s suffrage, striking a balance between the famous faces and those who feature less in the history books, but whose roles are no less important.

Among the names on the statue are Minnie Baldock, who lived in West Ham and fought against low pay in the area, holding a public meeting alongside Keir Hardie MP about the issue in 1903.

A member of the Independent Labour Party, she established the Canning Town branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1906 to attract more women to the cause.

Life-sized images of the men and women to be named on the statue in Trafalgar Square Picture: Caroline Teo/GLALife-sized images of the men and women to be named on the statue in Trafalgar Square Picture: Caroline Teo/GLA

She was arrested during an demonstration outside the House of Commons in 1908 and spent a month in Holloway Prison.

Minnie continued to work for the WSPU until 1911, when she became seriously ill, and in 1913 she and her husband Harry, with whom she had two sons, moved to Southampton. She later moved to Hamworthy in Dorset and died in 1954.

She is joined on the list by her fellow east London activist, Julia Scurr, who was a prominent campaigner on behalf of women working in the East End.

Born in Limehouse in 1871, she organised a large demonstration against unemployment in 1905, and subsequently met the prime minister, Arthur Balfour.

She was elected to the Poplar Board of Guardians in 1907, representing the Labour party.

Julia initially joined Sylvia Pankhurst’s East London Federation of Suffragettes, but in 1914 switched to the new United Suffragists, being elected as one of its vice-presidents.

In 1919, Julia was elected to Poplar Borough Council and served as mayor during 1923/24.

She went on to become elected as Mile End’s representative on the London County Council in 1925, but resigned the following year and died in April 1927.

Also included are Minnie Lansbury and her father-in-law George.

Minnie was born in Stepney in 1889 to a Jewish family that had fled poverty and persecution in London. Her father, Isaac Glassman, was not able to vote until 1913, when he paid the £5 fee to become a British citizen.

The year after, Minnie married Edgar Lansbury, whose father George Lansbury had served as Bow and Bromley MP between 1910 and 1912.

Minnie, a teacher, became involved in the National Union of Teachers, calling for equal pay for women. She also joined the East London Federation of the Suffragettes and played a key role in their central committee.

She was elected alderman on Poplar Council after the First Wold War, and in 1921 was one of five women to be jailed for refusing to charge full rates from their poor constituents.

She died in 1922 aged just 32, with thousands of mourners turning out to line the streets on the day of her funeral.

George Lansbury, who had lost his seat in a by-election after resigning to contest it on the issue of women’s suffrage, continued to campaign for women’s rights.

He was re-elected as Bow and Bromley MP in 1922, remaining in the position until his death in 1940. Between 1932 and 1935, he served as Labour party leader and leader of the opposition.

The men and women on the plinth

Louisa Garrett Anderson

Dame Margery Irene Corbett Ashby

Margaret Ashton

Minnie Baldock

Lady Frances Balfour

Lydia Becker

Rosa May Billinghurst

Helen Blackburn

Nessie Stewart-Brown

Ada Nield Chew

Frances Power Cobbe

Jessie Craigen

Emily Wilding Davison

Charlotte Despard

Flora Drummond

Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy

Isabella Ford

Henrietta Franklin

Mary Gawthorpe

Teresa Billington-Greig

Margaret Haig, Viscountess Rhondda

Anna Haslam

Rev Claude Hinscliff

Laurence Housman

Elsie Inglis

Annie Kenney

Minnie Lansbury

George Lansbury

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Frederick Pethick-Lawrence

Mary Lowndes

Edith How-Martyn

Catherine Marshall

Mary MacArthur

Chrystal MacMillan

Eva McLaren

Priscilla Bright McLaren

Edith Mansell-Moullin

Dora Montefiore

Catherine Courtauld Osler

Emmeline Pankhurst

Christabel Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst

Adela Pankhurst

Agnes Pochin

Eleanor Rathbone

Sarah Reddish

Annot Robinson

Esther Roper

Eva Gore-Booth

Lolita Roy

Agnes Maude Royden

Julia Scurr

Maud Lady Selborne

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington

Sophia Duleep Singh

Ray Strachey

Helena Swanwick

Ellen Wilkinson

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