Miss Charlotte Marsh

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1887

Died: 1961

Place of birth: Alnmouth, Northumberland, England

Education: Trained as a sanitary inspector

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Other Societies: IWSPU

Society Role: Organiser

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 3


Other sources: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4769024
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866?1928 (1999); M Lawson, Memories of Charlotte Marsh(1961).

Further Information:

Family information: Father was an artist.

Additional Information: Charlotte joined the WSPU in 1907 but finished her exams as a sanitary inspector (according to her parents' wishes) before embarking on militancy with the WSPU in 1908. She was arrested during a deputation in Parliament Square for obstruction of the police and was given one month in Holloway Gaol. In 1909, she became an organiser in Yorkshire and took part in a protest at Bingley Hall, Birmingham, where roof slates were thrown to the ground from a neighbouring rooftop to interrupt a meeting where the Prime Minister was speaking. She was sentenced to three months in Winson Green Prison, Birmingham and, with fellow prisoners, went on hunger strike. She was one of the first suffragettes to be forcibly fed. It was reported that she was fed by tube 139 times. Her father became gravely ill but the authorities refused to release her until the very last moment. She made it back to Newcastle but her father was by then unconscious, and died shortly afterwards. For a while, Charlotte busied herself with organising processions and holiday campaigns in the south of England. However, in 1912, she took part in the WSPU window-smashing campaign, breaking at least nine windows in the Strand, London. She was sentenced to six months in prison, went on hunger strike and was again forcibly fed. She went to Switzerland for a time to recover and spent from 1913 until the outbreak of war working as an organiser in London (often in disguise). During the war, she broke from the WSPU to form the Independent WSPU (IWSPU).

Other Suffrage Activities: During the First World War, Charlotte worked as a mechanic and, ironically, as a 'chauffeuse' for Lloyd George, who was by then Prime Minister and had been the target of much suffragette anger during the pre-war campaign. In 1919, she worked with the Women's International League, and later was on the executive council of the Six Point Group, who campaigned on issues affecting women.

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