A Suffragist Outrage - 1914

 My friend Sam loves his local History and is a much more dedicated researcher than I am, so I will leave the preamble to this story to him.  As you can see below, Sam wasn't kidding when he says the scan of the original story is difficult to read, so I have typed it out again below the picture of the scan.

Enjoy.  :-)


The book 'Home Fires' mentioned an attempt in April 1914 by militant suffragettes to burn Bangor railway station.  I looked up the Spectator in the British Newspaper Archive and got the short article attached.  It can be read, with care!  It mentions Edward Carson, who was against women's suffrage at the time.






Night Watchman’s Timely Discovery


An attempt, evidently by Suffragists, to burn the Belfast and County Down Railway Station was discovered at about 2:30am Tuesday morning by the night watchman at the station.  His attention was attracted by the reflection of a light in one of the station windows and on going to investigate he found a candle burning is a wooden box in which there was a quantity of cotton wool, saturated with paraffin.  The box was situated between the newly built lavatory and the station, and from it a trail of wool soaked in paraffin led to a miscellaneous collection of inflammable materials stacked against the main structure.  The woodwork of the station in the vicinity was thoroughly soaked with oil, and there was a large quantity of sugar, firelighters, marches, candles, and a bucket containing tar, together with some firelighters lying about.  The watchman immediately extinguished the flame and appraised the police of the occurrence.  Had he arrived a few minutes later nothing could have saved the building which is largely composed of wood, as a strong northerly wind was blowing at the time.

The perpetrators of the outrage had evidently made elaborate preparations, and as usual left a number of messages behind them.  Fastened to the steps of the signal cabin were four sheets of paper bearing the following inscriptions: “Voices for women,” “Lets have fail play,” “Millitant men go free why imprison women,” Apply to Carson for damage by arson,” and “A message to Carson froma fighter for liberty.”

District inspector Shankey is actively investigating the occurrence, but up to the present no arrests have been made.  The outrage caused a profound sensation in the district, even in Suffragist circles.


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