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Emily Davison laid to rest
Crowds line the streets of London for the funeral of suffragette Emily Davison Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Emily Davison laid to rest

5,000 women walk in funeral procession through London

Published: 15 June 1913

There were remarkable scenes on the streets of London yesterday as more than 5,000 women walked in the funeral procession behind the cortege of Emily Davison.

Ms. Davison, the suffragette who was struck by King George’s horse while making a protest during the Epsom Derby on 4 June, died on 8 June at Epsom Hospital.

Her body was received shortly after noon at Victoria Station before the procession through London. The coffin, covered with a pall of purple, green and white, and with laurel wreaths, was drawn in a funeral car by four black horses.

The Illustrated London News captures the scene immediately after Emily Davison walked in front of the King’s horse
(Illustrated London News [London England], 7 June 1913)

Eight suffragettes formed a guard of honour and behind the coffin walked Ms. Davison’s family, her close friends and officiating clergy.

A young woman carrying a cross headed the procession and she was followed by three rows of girls carrying wreaths and row-after-row of women marching in sections. Many wore white summer dresses; others were dressed in deep black.

The bands in the procession played the ‘Dead March’ as the half-mile long procession moved through Picadilly and up Shaftesbury Avenue to St. George’s Church in Bloomsbury.

There were almost unruly scenes on Shaftesbury Avenue when some young men cheered and waved their hats as the coffin passed. Their behaviour was out of keeping with the remainder of onlookers: many people lined the route and, although saying that they disagreed with Ms. Davison’s militancy, they wished to pay their respects.

Nonetheless, as the coffin arrived at the church someone threw a quantity of pepper in the air and another called for three cheers for the King’s jockey.


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
(accessed 30/05/2013)

After service in the church, the procession reformed and moved to King’s Cross Station from where the body was brought by train to Morpeth. A wreath was placed on the coffin; it read: ‘She died for women.’

A further 1,500 wreaths were sent to Northumberland by later train. Ms. Davison will be buried today close to Longhorsley, where she had previously lived with her mother and family.

It is expected that another large crowd, including many suffragettes from all over the north of England and Scotland, will attend the burial.


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