Emily Davison

Emily Davison
Image Credit : www.bbc.co.uk/news

A towering figure of the women’s suffragette movement

posted by: Tippa Naphtali
all credits: Guardian Society
published: 26 May 2013

Updates listed at the foot of this item

As an emblem of women’s emancipation Emily Wilding Davison has always been controversial. The suffragette who was fatally injured at the Epsom racecourse during the Derby 100 years ago under the hooves of the king’s horse has been saluted by some as a brave martyr and attacked by others as an irresponsible anarchist.

Now detailed analysis of film footage of the incident has shed new light on the contentious moments on 4 June 1913 that were to go down in the history of political protest.

Despite the fact that film technology was in its early days, the incident was captured on three newsreel cameras and a new study of the images has shown that the 40-year-old campaigner was not, as assumed, attempting to pull down Anmer, the royal racehorse, but in fact reaching up to attach a scarf to its bridle.

The analysis, carried out by a team of investigators for a television documentary to be screened tonight on Channel 4, also indicates that the position of Davison before she stepped out on to the track would have given her a clear view of the oncoming race, contrary to the argument that she ran out recklessly to kill herself.

Presenter Clare Balding and investigators Stephen Cole and Mike Dixon returned to the original nitrate film stocks taken on the day and transferred them to a digital format. This was done so that they could be cleaned and so that new software could cross-reference the three different camera angles.

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