Annie Kenney

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Annie Kenney was born 13th September 1879, died 9th July 1953. She was educated as a young girl, She started part time work at a cotton mill at the age of 10 .Went into full time employment at the age of 13, at this point her school led education stopped although she continued with private studies teaching herself. .She endured 12 hour shifts starting at 6 am and finishing at 6pm, which was usual working hours for young healthy children. .She was involved in an incident where she lost her finger. .Inspired by the book “the clarion” by Robert Blatchford .Working class woman who stayed in the industry for 15 years. Became involved in trade union activities. Kenney became actively involved in the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) after hearing Christabel Pankhurst speak at the Oldham Clarion Vocal Club in 1905.

In 1905 Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst attended a Liberal rally with Churchill and Sir Edward Grey.

Kenny asked both men if they thought women should have the vote, when both men failed to answer Pankhurst and Kenney shouted at them and withdrew a banner which read “votes for women”

The women were violently thrown out of the establishment and arrested under minor assault and obstruction.

It has been said that it was the actions of these women which gave encouragement to others to join the movement.

Kenney was imprisoned for 3 days and 13 times throughout her life.

“This was the beginning of a campaign the likes of which had never been known in England or for that matter in any other country … we interrupted a great many meetings … and then we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt.”

The result of these outbursts eventually lead to Kenney gaining a position in the Woman's Social Political Union (WSPU) – not only this she was


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