June 4th 1913: Suffragette dies at Epsom Derby
On this day in 1913, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison ran out in front of King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby. She was trampled by the horse and died a few days later. Davison had spent years violently campaigning for women’s rights and female suffrage, being subjected to force feeding whilst on a hunger strike in prison. At the Derby, she appears to have been attempting to attach a suffragette flag to the King’s horse. Some believed she had been aiming to commit suicide and become a martyr, but the fact she had purchased a return rail ticket that day could suggest otherwise. Her motivations are still unclear today. However, her injuries from the incident led to her death on 8th June. Herbert Jones, the jockey on the horse was “haunted by that woman’s face” for many years and committed suicide in 1951.
“Deeds not words”
- Suffragette slogan on her gravestone