Emily Wilding Davison (1872 – 1913)

This page has been contributed by Bourne Hall Museum, Ewell, who hold a collection of material relating to the Epsom Derby and Emily Wilding Davison.

For a full biography page featuring Emily Wilding Davison produced as part of Surrey Heritage’s ‘The March of the Women’ project click here.

For an audit of suffrage material held at Bourne Hall Museum carried out as part of ‘The March of the Women’ project click here.

On the first Wednesday in June 1913, a smartly dressed woman left Epsom Downs station to join the crowds on Derby Day.


Grand Stand Epsom, Derby Day c1913. Courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Her name was Emily Wilding Davison, she was a forty-year-old graduate from Northumberland, and she belonged to the Women’s Social and Political Union. Under her coat she carried two Suffragette flags.


Showing Suffragette outrage on King George’s horse Anmer.  The picture above shows horse, jockey (Herbert Jones) and the woman, Miss Davison, lying on the ground. From Romance of the Derby Stakes by Alan Macey, 2nd edition pub 1932 by Hutchinson & Co Ltd.  Facing p216 – The race of 1913 at Tattenham Corner. Courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Davison was taken to the Epsom Cottage Hospital in Alexandra Road, where she died four days later.

Her funeral was long remembered as the last great Suffragette rally, a pageant in which thousands of women in white paid their last respects to the heroine who had died for their freedom. Five years later, women achieved the vote.


Miss Emily Wilding Davison, In Memoriam card. Courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (GP 6220)
Emily Davison, 1872 – 1913

Useful Links

For details of The Emily Wilding Davison Project to erect a new statue of the suffragette in Epsom, see http://emilydavisonproject.org/ and the article by
Christine Charlesworth, ‘Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison – a figure to meet in Epsom’, Women’s History, Special issue: 1918-2018, Vol 2 Issue 11.

Read the project blog for Surrey Heritage’s new HLF project The March of the Women: Surrey Road to the Vote.

Watch the Pathé newsreel film of the Derby here http://www.britishpathe.com/video/emily-davison-throws-herself-under-the-kings-derby

Read Bourne Hall Museum’s detailed article about the 1913 Derby and Emily Davison http://www.epsom.townpage.co.uk/bhmsuffragettes.html

Watch the Warwick Trading Co. newsreel film of Emily Wilding Davison’s funeral procession, from the film archives of Screen Archive South East, here http://screenarchive.brighton.ac.uk/detail/29/

Read ‘Woman and Sphere’ the fascinating blog by suffrage expert Dr Elizabeth Crawford which features Emily Wilding Davison https://womanandhersphere.com/2017/01/30/suffrage-stories-who-did-the-flowers-material-culture-and-emily-wilding-davisons-funeral/

See a blog by Find My Past about Emily Wilding Davison, with contemporary newspaper accounts of her, including her prison record

For an online case study about Emily Wilding Davison and Parliament, her activism, and links to sources, see the ‘Women and the Vote’ section of the UK Parliament website.


The Epsom Derby

Bourne Hall Museum

20th Century Surrey

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