Suffragette Medal (with portcullis emblem)
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The Suffrogate Medal was instituted by the Women's Social and Political Union in 1909. The Silver Medal was awarded to militant Suffragettes who were imprisoned, went on hunger strikes, and who were forcibly fed under cruel and barbaric conditions in recognition of gallant action and endurance to hardship in the pursuit of the goals of the Suffragette movement until 1914. It is estimated that less than 100 Medals were awarded.
A silver dated clasp was awarded to denote the date of the recipient's arrest, an enamelled clasp with a date inscribed on the reverse was awarded to denote the date of the recipient's imprisonment and hunger strike, and an emblem in the shape of prison gates (or portcullis) surmounted by an arrow worn on the ribbon was awarded to Holloway prisoners.
The Medal features a brooch bar inscribed "FOR VALOUR."
Footnote: Holloway Prison was opened in 1852 and functioned as a female-only facility since 1903. Hundreds of suffragettes were incarcerated at the prison, with many performing hunger strikes to protest against their treatment as common criminals as opposed to political prisoners. Symbolizing the history of women's rights and the treatment of women in society in the United Kingdom, the suffragettes were forced fed by prison authorities as a result of their choice to engage in protest. The prison was closed in 2016.
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