Miss Elsie Diederichs Duval

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1892

Died: 1919

Place of birth: Battersea, Surrey, England

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 4


Other sources: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4769024
Elizabeth Crawford The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (1999)

Further Information:

Family information: The Duval family were committed to women's suffrage. Daughter to (Jane) Emily Duval. Elsie married fellow 'suffragette' Hugh Franklin in 1915 (see Hugh Franklin).

Additional Information: Elsie joined the WSPU in 1907 aged 15, and spent the next three years working in the offices of the Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement (MPU), the men's 'wing' of the WSPU. By 1911, she was considered old enough to take part in militant protest activity and was promptly arrested in November for obstructing the police. She was discharged but immediately volunteered for more militant activity. She took part in the window-smashing campaign of 1912, but was not arrested until July, when she broke a window at a post office in Clapham, London. She was sentenced to one month in prison in Holloway and was forcibly fed nine times. A year later, in 1913, she was arrested again for loitering with intent with 'Phyllis Brady', the alias used by Olive Beamish, with whom she was responsible for burning Stanstead Station, along with other targets. She was again imprisoned for one month and was again forcibly fed. Elsie recalled in her diary the heart pains she felt after force-feeding, which was done with her lying on the hard prison floor. She was released under the 'Cat and Mouse Act' for a period of 14 days pending rearrest, but fled abroad with her fiancé. It was considered too risky for her to return and so she stayed in Europe until the Home Office suffragette amnesty for the outbreak of war in 1914. She then returned to Britain. She remained loyal to WSPU leader Emmeline Pankhurst, offering to help with her efforts during the war, joining Mrs Pankhurst's Women's Party in 1917. Elsie died prematurely in the great flu epidemic of 1919 of heart failure, perhaps a consequence of the weakening of her heart from numerous forcible feedings.

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