Sylvia Pankhurst

Quote by Sylvia Pankhurst
Quote by Sylvia Pankhurst
Young person's artwork
Young person's artwork
Quote by participant

Political activist, writer, artist

Sylvia Pankhurst was one of the leading figures in the campaign to establish votes for women. She took part in demonstrations and violent acts in support of the cause and was arrested eight times between 1913 and 1914. In prison, she went on hunger strike to reinforce her protest. 

Pankhurst was a leading anti-war campaigner during the First World War. During the 1930s she was active in the fight against fascism and helped Jewish refugees. She championed Ethiopian independence, and died in the capital, Addis Ababa, where she was so highly regarded that the Emperor Haile Selasse ordered a state funeral.

Creative Connection:
Sylvia Pankhurst established a branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) at 198 Bow Road. She founded a day nursery and toy factory at 45 Norman Road commemorated by a blue plaque and established a mother and baby clinic in Old Ford Road. She lived in Bow from 1912 to 1924. She is commemorated by Sylvia Pankhurst House in Warley Street and a statue in Mile End Park.

All images © National Portrait Gallery, London unless otherwise stated. Sylvia Pankhurst by Bassano, 1927 (detail). NPG x84425 Sylvia Pankhurst by Herbert Cole, c.1925 (detail). NPG 4244