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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRoe, Miss Grace
Ref No8SUF/B/007
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 2
Date23 Sep 1974
Extent183:00 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Grace Roe
DescriptionInterview took place at Green Cottage, Hastings Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells. Also see interview 8SUF/B/013.

Interview summary:

0:00 mins:
Suffragette Fellowship. Replaced Annie Kenney as Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) chief organiser after her arrest [8 Apr 1913]. Mass arrests at Lincoln's Inn House [30 Apr 1913]. Inaccuracy of [BBC television documentary 1974 series] 'Shoulder to Shoulder'. Character and appearance of Christabel Pankhurst. Anti-suffragette heckling at [21 Jun 1908] Hyde Park meeting. Reasons for joining WSPU in 1908. Previous suffrage work of her mother.

15:00 mins:
Socialist meetings attended with father. Education at first co-educational school in England. Occupations and progressive values of family. Political consciousness coming to fore when art student. Importance of relationship with her aunts. Family in Ireland. Reaction to 'Daily Mail' article about Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney disrupting the [13 Oct 1905] Free Trade Hall meeting. First encounter with suffragettes when shopping in Kensington, given a handbill for [21 Jun 1908] Hyde Park meeting. Reactions to Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst there. Impact on her of hearing Christabel Pankhurst speak. Anti-suffragette sentiments of family doctor. Attended a Queen's Hall Meeting - following the arrest of Christabel Pankhurst, Emmeline Pankhurst and Flora Drummond [13 Oct 1908]. Critical of Sylvia Pankhurst's demeanour.

30:00 mins:
Inspired to join WSPU by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence at Queen's Hall meeting. Stewarded meetings and marched around Holloway [in support of those arrested for inciting the 'rush on the house']. First visit to Clement's Inn in London [WSPU offices]; meeting Christabel Pankhurst, Jessie Kenney and Flora Drummond. Correspondence from WSPU to her home in Norwood. Nursed sick grandmother. Encountered anti-suffragette and anti-working class stances. Member of the Young Hot Bloods (YHB) suffrage youth organisation. Duties of WSPU organisers and limitations faced. Organised meetings in Kensington Town Hall for Emmeline Pankhurst and at Ipswich Corn Exchange [for Christabel Pankhurst]. Decorating halls. Artistic women in suffrage movement.

45:00 mins:
Georgina Brackenbury's [1927] portrait of Mrs Pankhurst. Read Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but experience more important than intellectual influences. Believed suffrage work gave women an outlet. Few personal conflicts between family duties and suffrage cause. Strong commitment to wearing suffrage colours at social occasions. Became official WSPU organiser in 1910 when grandmother died. Previous volunteer work in Suffolk, Stratford-on-Avon, Croydon and Brixton by-election. Called from Ipswich to go to London. Family Irish protestant.

60:00 mins:
Her family's charitable support of poor families - Roe and her brother's participation when children. Progressive nature of her co-educational school. Religion not important in her family. Social work in United States of America (USA) and Canada with Christabel Pankhurst. WSPU transition into The Women's Party [Nov 1917]. Importance of Emmeline Pankhurst's threat of renewed militancy for gaining vote. Criticisms of 'Shoulder to Shoulder' documentary.

75:00 mins:
Character and mannerisms of Ethel Smyth and Flora Drummond. Organiser of the Munitions Procession [Women's War Work Procession, Jul 1915]. Organising Emily Wilding Davison's funeral procession [14 Jun 1913], Reverend Claude Hinscliff [of the Church League for Women's Suffrage] securing the church. Police surveillance. Use of costumes supplied by Actresses' Franchise League for disguise. Secret work with Charlotte Marsh [Charlie Marsh]. Procession planning.

90:00 mins:
Breakdown in 1916 from being overworked. Sent to Newcastle on a mission about labour unrest, then Ireland till the First World War ended. Familiar with secretaries at Downing Street, including Frances Stevenson. Correspondence and visits to Christabel Pankhurst in Paris. Pacifist suffragettes' opposition to movement. Getting suffrage notice into 'The Times'. Christabel Pankhurst's first WSPU speech on returning from Paris [focusing on 'The War Crisis'], 8 Sep 1914, at the London Opera House.

105:00 mins:
Christabel Pankhurst's Second Adventism. Annie Kenney's 'Memoir of a Militant'. Role of Theosophy in the suffrage movement. WSPU reactions to Annie Besant's criticisms of militancy.

120:00 mins:
Discussion of Theosophy and the Amoc branch which Annie Kenney practised. Imprisonment and force-feeding. Being drugged by prison authorities. In possession of an emetic when arrested and taken to Cannon Row police station [May 1914]. Requested more emetics [from one of Arthur Marshall's solicitor's clerks] in a letter from prison. This triggered forcible searching of suffragettes on reception at prison.

135:00 mins:
Vegetarianism. Social work in Los Angeles, as an assistant to Mrs [Roland] Gray for 17 years. Christabel Pankhurst's life and finances in the United States of America.

150:00 mins:
Mrs Dacre Fox. Christabel's pseudonym was 'Amy Richards'. Use of humour to keep spirits up during suffrage campaigns. Lord and Lady Lytton. Her later relationship with the Pethick-Lawrences. Helen Craggs. Herbert Goulden [Mrs Pankhurst's brother] and his work for women's suffrage. Role of Dr Hugh Fenton.
Related Record8SUF/B/013
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 03
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