18 Facts About Alice Hawkins


Alice Hawkins was a leading English suffragette among the boot and shoe machinists of Leicester.


Alice Hawkins went to prison five times for acts committed as part of the Women's Social and Political Union militant campaign.


In 2018 a statue of Alice was unveiled in Leicester Market Square.


Alice Hawkins Riley was born in 1863 in Stafford and by 13 she was working in Leicester creating boots and shoes.


Alice Hawkins became a mother of six children and worked as a machinist at Equity Shoes.


Alice Hawkins had joined the Independent Labour Party in 1894 and via that organisation met Sylvia Pankhurst.


Alice Hawkins was first jailed in February 1907, among 29 women sent to Holloway Prison after a march on Parliament.


Alice Hawkins was jailed a second time in 1909 as she tried to force entry into a public meeting where Winston Churchill was speaking in Leicester.


Alice Hawkins's case had been taken up by the Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement after he was thrown down some stairs after protesting against Winston Churchill during a Liberal party meeting Bradford.


Alice Hawkins was jailed twice more in 1913, first for throwing ink into a Leicester post box, and then a last time for digging a slogan into a golf course at night.


Alice Hawkins received a Hunger Strike Medal from the WSPU.


Alice Hawkins was one of the prisoners who built a relationship with the female prison warders working-class women who comforted the prisoners as well as having the job of holding them down to be force-fed.


In 1913 Alice Hawkins was among the representatives chosen to speak with leading politicians David Lloyd George and Sir Edward Grey.


Alice Hawkins explained how her fellow male workers could choose a man to represent them whilst the women were left unrepresented.


Alice Hawkins's protests ceased when war was declared in 1914 and the WSPU agreed to cease protests in exchange for having all prisoners released.


Alice Hawkins died in 1946 and her burial had to be paid for by the state, a 'pauper's grave'.


Alice Hawkins has a plaque at her workplace and another on the Leicester Walk of Fame.


Alice Hawkins found the transcript in the National Archives of the delegation including Hawkins of Working Women to Lloyd George, the chancellor, from January 1913.