Suffragette acts in Birmingham

Newspaper cutting relating to a suffragette action in Birmingham, from Birmingham Archives and Heritage

The Birmingham branch of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union was active in the area throughout the period of its existence. 

Although no formal record of their action remains, Birmingham Fire Service records document many of their actions.  One particularly rich record is the Service’s press cuttings collection, which features many newspaper articles on the various actions of the group.  These include setting fire to empty buildings and railway carriages and attacking works of art in Birmingham’s Art Gallery. 

Suffragette actions continued to take place in Birmingham until 1914.  With the outbreak of the First World War, the WSPU called a temporary halt to its campaign of militancy.  Those suffragettes still in prison were released, and Emmeline Pankhurst began to concentrate on involving women in the war effort.