Almanac – June 04

1913 – Emily Davison received her fatal injuries.

A militant activist who fought for women’s suffrage in Britain. She was jailed on nine occasions and force-fed 49 times.
She is best known for stepping in front of King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby on this date, sustaining injuries that resulted in her death four days later.
Her funeral on 14 June 1913 was organised by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and thousands of suffragettes accompanied the coffin and tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London. After a service in Bloomsbury her coffin was taken by train to the family grave in Morpeth, Northumberland.

Some have claimed that she was trying to disturb the Derby in order to draw attention to her cause, rather than to commit suicide, and  analysis of newsreel has supported the idea that Davison was reaching up to attach a scarf to the bridle of the King’s horse.

Analysis of newsreel also indicated that her position before she stepped out onto the track would have given her a clear view of the oncoming race, further countering the belief that she ran out to kill herself.

 

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Herbert Jones, the jockey riding the horse, suffered a mild concussion in the incident, but was “haunted by that poor woman’s face” for much longer.

In 1928, at the funeral of Emmeline Pankhurst, Jones laid a wreath “to do honour to the memory of Mrs Pankhurst and Miss Emily Davison”.

In 1951, his son found him dead in a gas-filled kitchen, having committed suicide.

The horse, Anmer, having gone over, got to his feet and completed the race without his jockey.

 

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