Irish woman’s suffragette medal put up for auction

A hunger strike medal awarded to an Irish suffragette over 100 years ago has been put up for auction.

Clara Giveen was born in Coleraine, Co Derry in 1887 and was awarded the medal by the Women’s Social and Political Union for committing an arson attack on the grandstand at Hurst Park Racecourse, just outside London, on 8 June 1913.

She was among a group of suffragettes who committed the arson attack four days after their friend Emily Wilding Davison died after throwing herself under the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby.

The group inflicted thousands of pounds worth of damage and six local fire brigades were called to put out the fire. They were arrested by police the next morning.

Emily Wilding Davison died after throwing herself under the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby

Ms Giveen was sentenced to imprisonment for three years with hard labour.

The military-style medals were awarded by the leaders of the WSPU to suffragettes who had gone on hunger strike in protest over not being recognised as political prisoners.

They hang on a length of ribbon in the WSPU colours from a silver pin bar engraved “For Valour” in the style of the UK’s Victoria Cross.

On one side of the medal is engraved ‘Hunger Strike’, with the other engraved with the name of the recipient.

The auction price of the medal is estimated at between €14,000 to €21,000.

In the lot description, Bonhams auction house said Ms Giveen “became a radical suffragette after witnessing the brutal treatment of women by police at the infamous ‘Black Friday’ demonstration of 1910”.

After joining the WSPU, Ms Giveen also took part in actions such as window smashing and obstruction for which she was arrested several times before she committed the arson attack.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button