In pictures: Suffragettes capture the Monument

image captionOne hundred years ago, on 18 April, two suffragettes, Miss Spark and Mrs Shaw, climbed to the top of the Monument in London where they unveiled the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) flag and tied a banner that read: "Death or Victory" to the railings. Finally they released hundreds of handbills promoting the Votes for Women campaign that fluttered into the street below, where crowds had gathered to witness the event.
image captionIt took some time before the police broke down the barricade the women had erected and removed them from the Monument. No charges were brought against the suffragettes. The protest was one of many that took place in the capital at that time.
image captionAs the suffrage campaign became a major public issue, commercially produced novelty ornaments often caricatured suffragettes as being unfeminine and "haggardly".
image captionThe suffragette uniform, worn here by Norah Balls, was introduced in 1908. During the winter months, members of the WSPU were required to wear full dress uniform of a "white frock with regalia and colours" to all indoor meetings and breakfast receptions. During the summer months, this uniform was also worn to all outdoor processions and rallies.
image captionThis commercial comic postcard is an example of anti-suffragette hate mail and was sent to the headquarters of the WSPU in Lincoln's Inn in 1909. Addressed to Miss Pankhurst and Her Crew, it expresses a popular view of suffragettes as "unnatural" single women who have abandoned their traditional domestic role in order to fight the cause.
image captionThis satirical anti-suffrage postcard depicts the abandoned child of a suffragette. A poem on the back reads: "Mummy is a suffragette, and I am no-one's pet. Oh! Why am I left all alone, to cry and suffer yet."
image captionThis is a set of playing cards made in Holloway jail by the suffragette prisoner Mrs Kitty Marshall, who first attended a pro-suffrage meeting in 1906. As a married suffragette, her involvement in the campaign was dependent on the support of her husband, Arthur, a solicitor, who proved very useful to the militant Votes for Women campaign and regularly acted on behalf of arrested suffragettes. Kitty was first imprisoned in November 1910 for throwing a potato at the fanlight over the front door of Home Secretary Winston Churchill.
image captionThe WSPU encouraged members to wear purple, white and green at all times, particularly when attending large demonstrations. The pictures here are drawn from the biggest collection of artefacts and objects of the British militant suffragette movement, which is held by the Museum of London.

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