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'Parliamentarians' honour suffragettes

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

planting:   UK Youth Parliament plant a fir tree

planting: UK Youth Parliament plant a fir tree

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TEIGNBRIDGE youth parliament members have been honouring historic revolutionary women.

South West Youth Parliament members gathered at Bishops Hull House in Taunton to plant a fir tree in memory of the suffragette campaign on votes for women.

Among the group were Olivia Welsh, 15, a student at Teignmouth Community School, who represents South Hams and Teignbridge. The deputy for the area is Bethany Bray, 16, who attends Coombeshead Academy, Newton Abbot.

It is 100 years since suffragette Emily Davidson died while trying to throw a 'Votes for Women' banner over the King's horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. Members of the Youth Parliament are currently working on a Heritage Heroes project celebrating people in the south west who campaigned for change including the Suffragettes and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Many suffragettes were imprisoned for their political activism in support of votes for women and demonstrations which included chaining themselves to railings and setting fire to post boxes.

In prison they protested by going on hunger strike and were force-fed.

To recover from the harsh treatment they got in prison many women went to Eagle House near Bath where as part of their recuperation they were encouraged to plant a fir tree in the grounds.

Only one of the original trees still remains at Eagle House.

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