This is a tale that has been told in history lessons across the world.
In 1913, Emily Davison, a leading figure in the suffragette movement, died from a fractured skull after being knocked down by the King George V’s horse during the Derby at Epsom.
Davison’s sacrifice was a landmark moment in earning women the right to vote, which parliament granted to those over 30 in 1918, and then to all women over 21 ten years later.
Although she fought so passionately for equality and justice, it is not certain that Davison was intending to commit suicide when she entered the racetrack. Theories suggest that she wanted to pin a suffragette flag on the King’s horse, or pull it down when she was struck by the animal, which would have been travelling at around 35mph by the time it reached the final straight. She was operated on two days later, but never regained consciousness.
In Davison’s effects, they discovered a return ticket to London which was never stamped, unlike the billions of ballot papers which women have since used to vote in her honour.
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