Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Janet Bateson gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘The Suffragettes & the Oxted Bomb’.

Janet Bateson outlined the history of the extension of the vote, firstly for men in the 1832, 1867 and 1884 Reform Acts and eventually to women in 1918 and 1928.  This delay was despite women being given the vote in local elections in 1869.  Both women and men campaigned for votes for women in suffrage societies.  46 of these were amalgamated into the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897.  Most Suffrage Societies supported peaceful, non-violent campaigning for the women’s vote.  However in 1903, the Women’s Social & Political union was established, led by Emmaline Pankhurst.  This took an increasingly militant line.  In 1908, the windows of Government offices were broken, the first women went on hunger strike in prison and a rally of 250,000 people took place in Hyde Park.

In 1913, the suffragettes started burning churches and bombing railway stations.  On the night of 2/3 April, a bomb went off in the men’s toilet at Oxted Station and bomb-making equipment was found.  In 1975, the widow of Professor Harold Laski admitted his responsibility but no-one was ever charged.


The Suffragettes & the Oxted Bomb by Janet Bateson