Alice Hawkins Suffragette - a Sister of Freedom
Alice Hawkins

Alice Hawkins

Peter – a Great–grandson of Alice

Alice's great-grandson Peter Barratt

Alice's great-grandson Peter Barratt

As a young boy in the 1960s my grandfather Alfred would often tell me stories of his mother Alice and her fight for the vote, for Alfred saw first hand the opposition that Alice and other suffragettes met in their fight to be treated equally in the society of the day.

On one occasion grandfather told me of the time he was with his mother in the marketplace in Leicester as she spoke to hundreds of people from a speaker’s platform, urging them to support the suffragette cause.

A man at the back of the crowd shouted, “Get back to your family.” Alice replied without hesitation, “But here is my family, they are here to support me.” Indeed they were for not only Alfred but his brothers, sisters and father also were there to support Alice in her cause.

The stories were inspiring and unique pieces of oral history that I have remembered and passed down to my children today. But some five years ago I decided to speak publicly of Alice’s struggle and have now spoken to over one hundred and eighty groups and societies. It has proved to be a very popular talk and one which I speak with pride of on each occasion. The challenge for me today however is to speak to younger people, for I truly believe that if they hear of Alice’s story, it will inspire them to play their own part in our society today and above all else, I urge them to:

“Use your vote.”

Alice's Votes For Women sash

© Copyright Peter Barratt 2009-14

Designed by Robin Booth