A blue plaque commemorating Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins has been unveiled on the house in the city neighbourhood where she lived.
The plaque at 18 Mantle Road, Newfoundpool, marks the address where she and her family lived during her campaigning years in the early 1900s.
It was unveiled earlier today, (Wednesday, March 8), to coincide with International Women’s Day.
Alice’s great-grandson Peter Barratt was in attendance, and told the Leicester Times that it was a “very touching” day for the family.
“I’m very proud of Alice. I visit schools on a voluntary basis speaking of her campaign for equality, and Alice was a working class lady,” he revealed.
“The fact that she’s remembered as a leading member of the suffragette movement, I think is a fantastic thing to have as a legacy.”
Mr Barrett has been involved in bringing the commemorative plaque to fruition, alongside local Fosse Ward councillors and Ismail Dale of Heritage Schools.
Many suffragettes, including Alice, refused to provide their address for census purposes of the day, but a postcard from Alice’s suffrage memorabilia, which is still in the ownership of her descendants, gave the address.
The postcard, which was sent to her by Leeds suffragette Mary Gawthorpe on June 11, 1907, provided valuable formation on where Alice lived.
This has enabled councillors in Fosse Ward and Mr Barratt to confirm the address with the Records Office and, via a local community ward fund grant, to make the blue plaque campaign a reality.
Councillor Sue Waddington, who has been involved in leading the campaign, said: “I am very pleased that the plaque to celebrate Alice’s life will be a permanent reminder of her life in Fosse ward and her struggles for votes for women.
“It was a hard-won fight for the vote and Alice was imprisoned many times during the campaign.
“I hope the plaque reminds us of her sacrifices and that we should all use our precious right to vote at every election.”
Mr Barratt said that his late mum always voted, otherwise her “granny would be turning in her grave.”
“She always told her: ‘Vera, you must use your vote as we suffered for it.
“I heard from my mum that she was a very difficult woman – a very determined woman. Mum said if there was a family argument, she’d never back down.
But we always say, without that grit, and that strength of character, Alice would never have survived those campaigning years – five terms of imprisonment, hardship and brutality from the police,” he added.
“So she was a difficult woman to live with, but they respected her for her achievements.”
A working-class woman and mother of six, Alice campaigned throughout her life to improve the pay and conditions of women who worked alongside her in the shoe industry in Leicester.
Her sash, hunger strike medal, prison notes and more are still with the family and today are part of the nation’s heritage.
To find out more about Alice Hawkins, visit: https://www.alicehawkinssuffragette.co.uk/