Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, June 25, 2012

Political Activism At HRR (1913)

As we witnessed at this year’s Boat Race, the rowing sport is not spared from political activism and protests. The 99 year-old photograph above is showing a much milder political activity then the one shown on 7 April this spring. The two upper-class ladies are at the 1913 Henley Royal Regatta carrying around, or maybe even trying to sell, the Suffragette’s paper. The Suffragette movement worked hard and sometimes also aggressive to give women the right to vote.

It was said that the ‘sport-terrorist’ who interrupted and stopped this year’s race between Oxford and Cambridge, actually had the suffragette Emily Davison, who was a militant and violent campaigner, as a heroine. Davison died a couple of days after she on 4 June, 1913, had stepped out trying to grab King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby.

Here is a short, peaceful film about the Henley Royal in 1921 – in colour!



  1. What a fantastic picture of the Suffragettes! I love it as it includes several of my favourite things - Henley Bridge, feminism, and some lovely frocks. Where did you get it from? It would make a perfect print for the living room wall.

    I'm hugely enjoying the regatta posts by the way - it makes up for not being there this year. Thank you, Goran.

    Sue Bushnell

  2. Dear Sue ~ I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the HRR posts, and the old photograph of the Suffragettes in their dashing frocks. Sometimes I think that we forget that the women in the Suffragette movement mostly came from the middle and upper classes.