Sunday, February 06, 2011

West Ham WSPU banner

Hat tip to Col Roi for this picture of the banner of West Ham "Women's Social and Political Union" WSPU.

Does anyone have any further information about this branch?

I have found this link to a West Ham Branch of the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS).  Which split from the WSPU in 1914.

I found this fascinating quote here about East London in the First World War. "The worst outbursts of anti German feeling came after the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. West Ham alone suffered £100,000 of damage after rioting. Suspected Germans were beaten up and their premises looted. The ELFS centres were used as refuges by those caught in the violence". 

Update July 2013: I found this in the Museum of London website about banner "Suffrage banner of the WSPU, West Ham. Trumpeting angel design in central medallion adapted from Sylvia Pankhurst by Misses MA & E. Brice. The letters made by Miss Friedlaender and her brother, members of West Ham WSPU. Rectangular banner in grey green glazed cotton ground, purple and dark green velvet, pale green silk and wool and cream silk. Circular design of trumpeting angel in white silk with banner inscribed 'Freedom'. WSPU in cream silk against the bars of a prison cell window in purple on green velvet. 'West Ham; on either side at the top and 'Courage Constancy Success' along the bottom, in letters of white silk stretched over a cardboard core.
Artist/Photographer/Maker Women's Social and Political Union Date 1911 AD - 1913 AD
Image Number 003571" 
Also see this post 


bob said...


The strong feelings also led to the renaming of the Duke of Prussia pub in Stratford to the Edward V11. Until a few years ago, one of the original Duke of Prussia etched windows still existed and my generation still refer to what is now known as "Eddies" as "The Prussia". All very ironic when you consider the German roots of Edward VII.

John Gray said...

Thanks for that Bob

Anonymous said...

The WSPU was the adventurist Right-wing of the movement. The part that got up to militant stunts and whose key demand was for votes for woman on the same terms as men. At the time about 10% of men had the vote. They werent terribly popular with women trade unionists.

I recommend "one hand tied behind us" by Jill Liddington and Jill Norris.

Anonymous said...

ELSF was of course run by Sylvia Pankhurst (read her book). with its paper The Dreadnought,

The first Dreadnoughts being built on the Thames

The democratic (and Labour linked) split from the WSPU (Green white and purple)was the Womens Freedom League WFL - colours Gold Green and white lead by - Mrs Despard

John Gray said...

Some people on Facebook reading this post suggest in East London we ought to do something next year about remembering the 100th anniversity of the,_1912