Panel 1: The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote

Click on the image to see a larger copy of the original exhibition panel.

2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which first gave women of property over the age of 30 the right to vote in national elections. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Surrey Heritage’s project ‘The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote’ sought to discover and share the county’s unique suffrage stories.

Surrey’s women and men on both sides of the fierce debate played a significant role in the long campaign for women’s suffrage. The county was home to leading suffragists and activists such as the Pethick Lawrences, the Farrers, Dorothy Hunter and the composer, Dame Ethel Smyth. The anti-suffrage campaign was also prominent in Surrey supported by Bertha Broadwood and Margaretta Lemon. Surrey also saw such key events as Emily Wilding Davison’s actions at the 1913 Epsom Derby, the bombing of David Lloyd George’s house in Walton-on-the-Hill and the Great Pilgrimage passing through the county.

Surrey’s untold suffrage story has been revealed through the following project achievements:

  • unique suffrage archives at Surrey History Centre in Woking have been catalogued making them more accessible and better preserved for the future
  • an online learning resource has been produced featuring a radio play podcast about the local suffrage campaign, created by secondary school students
  • an online research resource on our Exploring Surrey’s Past website showcases stories, biographies and a lively project blog
  • an audit of collections in five partner museums highlights local stories
  • volunteers have indexed local newspapers to identify key events, campaigners, and organisations
  • outreach events have brought Surrey’s suffrage story to people of all ages

Find out more at

‘The March of the Women’, score by Ethel Smyth, 1911 (SHC ref <strong><a title=" The March of the Women" score href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9180/5</a></strong>)

‘The March of the Women’, score by Ethel Smyth, 1911 (SHC ref 9180/5)

We are grateful to our project partners and supporters:
Surrey History Trust, Haslemere Educational Museum, Godalming Museum, Chertsey Museum, Bourne Hall Museum, Watts Gallery Artists’ Village, Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre, Royal Holloway University of London, Bedford Centre for the History of Women, Surrey Federation of Women’s Institutes, Soroptimists International (Epsom & Woking branches).

Panel 2 – The Growth of the Suffrage Movement in Surrey

Panel 3 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Peaceful Protest

Panel 4 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Long Road to the Vote

Panel 5 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Great Pilgrimage

Panel 6 – Leading Suffrage Supporters in Surrey: Peaceful vs Militant

Panel 7 – Suffragettes in Surrey: Early Activism

Panel 8 – Suffragettes in Surrey: Militancy Continues

Panel 9 – Suffragettes in Surrey: the Ultimate Sacrifice

Panel 10 – The Anti-Suffrage Campaign in Surrey

Panel 11 – Anti-Suffragists in Surrey: Active Women in the Community

Panel 12 – The March is Over: Women get the Vote!

Click here to read more about The March of the Women project

Click here to read The March of the Women blog

Explore more about Surrey’s road to votes for women and the county’s role in the national women’s suffrage campaign

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