Study Sources 10, 11 and 12.
How far do the sources suggest that the actions of Emily Davison at the Derby in 1913 helped to advance the cause of women’s suffrage? (20 marks)
Explain your answer, using the evidence of Sources 10, 11 and 12.
(From The Times newspaper, published on 5 June 1913)
The desperate act of a woman who rushed from the rails on to the course as the horses swept round Tattenham Corner, apparently from some mad notion that she could spoil the race, will impress the general public even more, perhaps, than the disqualification of the winner. The case will become the subject of investigation by the police, and we may possibly learn from the offender herself what exactly she intended to do and how she imagined it could assist the cause of women’s suffrage. A deed of this kind is not likely to increase the popularity of any cause with the general public.
(From Christabel Pankhurst’s autobiography, Unshackled, published 1959. Pankhurst was one of the co-founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union.)
Emily Davison had stopped the King’s horse at the Derby and was lying mortally injured. Horse and jockey were unhurt, but Emily paid with her life for making the whole world understand that women were in earnest for the vote. Probably in no other way and at no other time and place could she so effectively have brought the concentrated attention of millions to bear upon the cause.
(From the Sunday Times newspaper, published on 15 June 1913. The paper is reporting Emily Davison’s funeral.)
It was one of the most remarkable funeral processions London had ever seen. It was a tribute of women to a woman who, in their eyes at least, had achieved martyrdom. Emily Wilding Davison was the most unassuming and gentlest of creatures, though she possessed a spirit capable of the most heroic deeds and sacrifices.