4th August 1878

Birth of “the general” Flora Drummond

Flora Drummond was a key player in the campaign to give women the vote and for women’s rights in general. She was nicknamed The General on account of the military-style uniform she wore. She was also known for leading marches on horseback.

Scottish suffrage movement

Drummond was born in Manchester and raised on the Isle of Arran, later moving to Glasgow for work. When she got married, she moved back to Manchester but remained involved in the Scottish suffrage movement in her absence. She welcomed fellow suffragists when they were released from Scottish prisons and helped organise marches in Edinburgh. She was herself imprisoned nine times.

The Dundee Courier of 2 February 1909 reported that she “is at present in Forfar and during yesterday she was engaged spying out the land with the object of starting a campaign in connection with the Suffragette movement”.

Flora’s efforts belittled

Her efforts weren’t always appreciated and sometimes belittled. The Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette of 4 September 1908 said, “we had another visit from the Suffragettes last Saturday evening, when Miss Flora Drummond used all the old arguments to a large and not over enthusiastic audience. The Suffragettes will perhaps find it easier to lead an Englishman unto unknown pathways than a canny Scot.”

However, other reports suggest that she was often more effective than some outlets would suggest. The Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette of 22 June 1908 reported on a “great suffragist demonstration in London”, where “in general control of the procession was Mrs Flora Drummond, the energetic little Scotswoman who has engineered most of the Westminster raids. Acting under her direction were nine chief marshals, seven group marshals, and a host of banner marshals and captains, each wearing a distinctive regalia.”

Flora Drummond’s death

Upon her retirement, Flora moved to Arran, where she died in 1949. On 18 January that year, The Scotsman reported that she “died in her sleep yesterday at a guest house in Carradale, Argyll, aged 70. She became ill ten days ago, before which she had been living in a converted army hut at Carradale. She is to be buried in Brackley Cemetery, near Carradale, to-morrow.”



Other events that occured in August

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