Miss Laura Frances Ainsworth

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1885

Died: 1958

Place of birth: Blything, Suffolk, England

Occupation: Teacher

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Other Societies: NPL

Society Role: Organiser

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 2


Other sources: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4769024
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866?1928 (1999)

Further Information:

Family information: Father was a school inspector.

Additional Information: Laura was working as an organiser for the WSPU in Birmingham when she was first arrested for disrupting Prime Minister Asquith's meeting at Bingley Hall. She was sentenced to two weeks' imprisonment and immediately went on hunger strike in Winson Green Prison, during which time she was repeatedly force-fed. The prison visitors' book noted that 'she is very determined and it is necessary still to administer food through a tube'. She was sent to a nursing home to recover upon her release from prison and gave an account of her experiences to the WSPU Votes for Women newspaper. Laura subsequently worked in 1910 as a WSPU organiser in Bradford, Bolton and London, and ran a holiday campaign in Southend. In 1911, she worked in Kent and Newcastle, and organised a mass evasion of the government's 1911 census survey in Gillingham as part of a wider suffrage boycott. When the WSPU split between the Pankhursts and the Pethick-Lawrences took place in 1912, Laura resigned from the WSPU and, the following year, became secretary and organiser for the north-east branch of the National Political League (NPL).

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