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Suffragette families come together for Alice Hawkins statue unveiling

Published on Friday, January 26, 2018

THE GREAT-granddaughter of the suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst will meet up with members of Alice Hawkins’ family next week for the unveiling of a statue that will honour the woman who led the suffrage movement in Leicester.


Dr Helen Pankhurst – whose grandmother was the suffragette campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst – will join the crowds in the city’s new market square on Sunday 4 February to see the statue of Alice Hawkins revealed for the first time.


Alice’s great-grandson, Peter Barratt, invited Dr Pankhurst to the unveiling event, which takes place as celebrations get under way to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act – the act that paved the way for universal women’s suffrage.


“Alice’s links with the Pankhurst family can be traced back to February 1907, when she was arrested at a protest outside parliament,” said Mr Barratt.


“She was sent to Holloway prison with 28 other women – including the sisters, Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst.


“It seems that Alice’s resolve hardened during her imprisonment because two months after leaving prison, she set up the first meeting of the Leicester branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union.


“The connection between the women was clearly strong, as Emmeline Pankhurst – the sisters’ mother and the leader of the suffragette movement – supported Alice at that inaugural event, and Sylvia came to Leicester just a few months later.


“It’s clear that the Pankhurst family gave Alice a lot of support over the years, both in the running of the Leicester branch and in her personal life, so I’m delighted that Helen Pankhurst is able to join us in Leicester for this historic occasion.”


Dr Pankhurst, advisor at CARE International, said: “I am proud to stand with Alice Hawkins’ descendants in Leicester to watch her statue be unveiled. Alice stood alongside my grandmother and my great-grandmother on many occasions. A hundred years later, as we celebrate the centenary of the first time some women finally gained the right to vote, it is wonderful that the families are doing so together once again.


“So many women fought for the suffrage cause and their names have been forgotten. Here’s to many more courageous women being remembered and honoured.”


The larger-than-life bronze statue of Alice Hawkins, which will stand on a 4-ft plinth, will be unveiled in the city’s new market square on Sunday 4 February at an event starting at 2pm.


A statue of Dr Pankhurst’s great-grandmother, Emmeline, is due to be unveiled in Manchester in December.


Details of all the events taking place across the UK to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage will be available at