Suffragette dies after protest at Epsom Derby
Jockey Hebert Jones is escorted from the Epsom race track after suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of his horse, Anmer. Photo: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EST EI-13 (270)

Suffragette dies after protest at Epsom Derby

Emily Davison struck by King's horse

Published: 8 June 1913

Emily Wilding Davison, the known suffragette, has died as a result of injuries sustained during her extraordinary protest at this year's Derby at Epsom. As the horses rounded Tattenham Corner, Ms. Davison ducked under the railings and ran in front of Anmer, the horse owned by King George V.

Credit: Suffragette, Emily Davison, Killed by King's Horse, 1913 Derby [HD] [user-generated content, online]
Creat. British Pathé. 27/07/2011, 6 mins 56 secs
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Attempts by Amner’s jockey, Herbert Jones, to avoid her proved unsuccessful. The horse ploughed into Ms. Davison, somersaulted and landed on top of his jockey.

The incident was seen by the Irish author and critic, St. John Irvine: ‘The King’s horse, Amner, came up and Miss Davison went towards it. She put up her hand, but whether it was to catch hold of the reins or to protect herself, I do not know. It was all over in a few seconds.’

‘I could not see whether any other horses touched her. I was so horrified at seeing her pitched violently down by the horse that I did not think of anything else.’

Mr. Jones was removed to the ambulance room at the back of the grandstand, where he was treated for minor injuries, including a broken rib and slight concussion. He told reporters: ‘I am quite comfortable. I have a broken rib, but I have had that before and it will soon be better.

He expressed concern for the well-being of Ms. Davison and for his horse, Anmer. The horse’s trainer, Mr. March, later confirmed that the horse was uninjured.

Ms. Davison was removed by stretcher to the local Epsom Cottage hospital, without regaining consciousness. Early suggestions that she had been attempting to cross the track to meet a friend before fainting when seeing the horses galloping towards her were quickly discounted.

Ms. Davison has a long record of militant suffragette agitation and was sporting two flags of the Women's Social and Political Union as she made her protest.

In recent years, she has been imprisoned eight times. Her offences include assault, stone-throwing, breaking windows, and setting fire to pillar boxes. During her various stays in prison she has gone on hunger strikes, barricaded herself in her cell, been restricted to solitary confinement, had a hosepipe turned on her and force-fed.

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