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Emily Davison Memorial Project

Emily’s Story
Up until recently, the suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison, has been defined by the event that took place at the Epsom Derby on 4th June 1913, when she ran out into the path of the King’s horse during the race and was severely injured, dying four days later at the Cottage Hospital in Epsom. Although many thought at the time that she intended to martyr herself for the cause, evidence has now emerged that it is more likely that she badly misjudged an attempt to draw attention to the the plight of women’s suffrage by attaching a WSPU scarf to the bridle of the horse, and that, although she was willing to put herself in danger for the cause, she did not intend to kill herself.
 

However, Emily was so much more than what happened that fateful day. She was a “Geordie lass” born in Blackheath, London on 11th October, 1872 , but raised in Morpeth, Northumberland. She was intelligent and academically minded, studying at both Royal Holloway College and Oxford University where she completed two degrees, despite the fact that women were not allowed to graduate. She subsequently became a teacher and a governess in order to earn a living, as her father had died and left her and her mother in financial hardship. She also had many other talents and interests, which included swimming, cycling, singing and writing.

Our Project

8th June, 2013 was the centenary of Emily’s death and was commemorated by a series of events, including the dedication of a plaque commemorating her on Epsom Down Racecourse. In addition, the Emily Davison Memorial Project was started, to create a significant memorial to Emily on The Downs. However, after much deliberation, for a variety of reasons, this could not be realised. 6th February, 2018 is another significant milestone; the centenary of some women getting the vote. It has been decided to relaunch the project on this date, with the aim this time to create a statue of Emily in the Epsom town centre market place. On 24th April 2018 Epsom & Ewell Councillors voted unanimously to approve the motion to Support the project

The statue will finally recognise her importance to both the heritage of Epsom and Ewell and the fight for gender equality. In addition, it will contribute to our growing recognition of women’s contributions to society and our history in general, and that of the suffragette movement in particular.

8th June 2021 We Did It!

108 years after Emily died at Epsom Cottage Hospital after being struck by the Kings horse in the 1913 Epsom Derby and after years of fundraising, planning, setbacks and a global pandemic we did it.  On Tuesday 8th June in front of VIP’s, family members and members of the public the statue of Emily Wilding Davison was unveiled in Epsom marketplace.  A very emotional day for all. 

We like to say a big thank you to our main donors Epsom & Ewell Council, Epsom Business Improvement District (Go Epsom), Surrey County Council and Lionel Blackman Solicitors and the hundreds of you who have donated and supported the project. 

Watch the unveiling below 

#RememberEmily