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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRoe, Miss Grace
Ref No8SUF/B/013
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 3
Date4 Oct 1974
Extent013a - 99:41 mins, 013b - 79:17 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Grace Roe
DescriptionInterview took place at Green Cottage, Hastings Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells. The interview is in two parts: 013a and 013b. Also see interview 8SUF/B/007.

Interview summary:
0:00 mins:
Unfavourable response to the 'March of the Women' [composed by Ethel Smyth]. Ethel Smyth. Emmeline Pankhurst's relationship with France. Family's reaction to her suffrage work. Belief in pre-destiny. Affected by injustice to women in childhood, such as unmarried mother's homes, where a family maid was sent.

15:00 mins:
Youthful appearance of Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) members. Brackenbury's notion of 'The Suffragette Face' and shared facial features of the militants. Pankhurst's belief that suffragettes should look conventional to off-set criticisms of their militancy. Emmeline Pankhurst's feeling for clothes and disapproval of some suffragettes' appearance. Use and importance of WSPU colours. Difficulty of wearing colours at end of the movement. Louie Hatfield, the housekeeper of Annie Kenney, accompanied Roe when hiding from the police. Class distinctions between women in the movement. Distributing leaflets with [Frances] Bartlett. Violent clashes with crowd at Portsmouth by-election [Nov 1909]. Maud Joachim tipped off a lorry.

30:00 mins:
Sailors tore clothes off suffragettes. Margaret Cameron head of Portsmouth by-election campaign. Roe's witty comments about sailors reported in the 'Daily Express'. Roe asked to chair meetings for Emmeline Pankhurst. Mildred Mansel. Roe stewarding meetings and coordinating people. Emmeline Pankhursts' behaviour when speaking at meetings. Emmeline Pankhurst's health and diet during Wisbech elections. Interviewing Cabinet Minsters throughout First World War period. Difficulty for suffragettes finding work after movement ended. Charlotte Marsh's [Charlie Marsh] background.

45:00 mins:
Charlie Marsh chauffeur to Lloyd George during First World War before going to America. Organisers took jobs in confidential parts of the government. [Frances] Bartlett and Louie Hatfield's role in WSPU. WSPU branches.

60:00 mins:
Feelings of destiny. Class background of suffragettes. Cross-class involvement in the Women's Munitions Procession of 1915. Non-party inclination of Roe. Voting patterns later on. Opinions on Liberal Party's treatment of women.

75:00 mins:
Rachel Barrett's involvement in WSPU, receiving Christabel Pankhurst's letters for Annie Kenney and working on the [Suffragette] newspaper. Barrett lived with a writer [her lover Ida Wylie]. Role of WSPU understudies. When Barrett was arrested, an office worker removed Christabel's leading article before police confiscation [printed in the 'Raided Issue' for which Roe found a printer]. Olive Bartels replaced Roe as chief organiser. Accompanied Christabel Pankhurst to the United States of America [Oct 1914], a few months after Roe was released from Holloway.

0:00 mins:
Christabel Pankhurst's attempt to get more graduates into the WSPU. The writing of [Christabel Pankhurst's] 'Unshackled'. Christabel Pankhurst withdrew book from the publisher when Sylvia Pankhurst released her book [The Life of Emmeline Pankhurst]. Roe's reactions to this biography. Christabel Pankhurst receiving the DBE [Dame Commander of the British Empire] in 1936. Christabel Pankhurst's outspokenness. Antonia Raeburn's book ['The Militant Suffragettes'] and her role in social work in the United States of America.

15:00 mins:
Roe's social work with girls in San Francisco. Trained by Doctor Miriam Van Waters. Roe's dislike of poverty. Links between social work and suffrage campaigners. Raising money for the WSPU. Places she was sent as an organiser (Kensington, Croydon, Stratford-on-Avon, Suffolk).

30:00 mins:
Overview of Roe's organisational roles: Brixton election; East Anglia organiser; Ireland when Mary Leigh was arrested; Bow and Bromley election. Commanded by Christabel Pankhurst to take vacation in Switzerland [late 1912]. Brought Mary Leigh and Gladys Evans to London. Visited Christabel in Paris. Sent to London to understudy Annie Kenney. Father sympathetic to suffrage cause. Suffrage women would accompany her father to see Roe in prison. She couldn't see family much as an 'underground' organiser. Roe's reputation with police for evading arrest. Loyalty to women figures in her life. The split between Pethick-Lawrences and Pankhursts [1912].

45:00 mins:
Emmeline Pankhurst's decision to support the First World War effort. Christabel Pankhurst sending Annie Kenney, Jessie Kenney, Grace Roe and Olive Bartels away to avoid arrest. Description of Christabel Pankhurst's flat in Paris. Roe's room in WSPU colours in Norwood. Letters of support when she was in prison. Organising [Jul 1915] Munitions Procession. Christabel's leadership.

60:00 mins:
Reactions of WSPU members to Christabel Pankhurst. Christabel had few French friends. Jessie Kenney's health. First meeting with Emmeline Pankhurst, through Jessie Kenney and the Young Hot Bloods. Roe's opinion on Emmeline not wanting people to be forced into militant acts. Younger suffragettes' lack of responsibility. Forming a 'bodyguard' to protect Emmeline Pankhurst and Annie Kenney. Writing in code, pseudonyms. Mabel Tuke, 'pansy', and her role in WSPU. Nurse Catherine Pine.

75:00 mins:
Catherine Pine. The adopted war babies [Kathleen King, Joan Pembridge, Mary Gordon and Elizabeth Tudor] of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst.
Related Record8SUF/B/007
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 04
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