Women's History Month
Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Get ready for a month of historical celebration. We kick off with a round up of walks to rejoice in the lives and works of these female trailblazers.....
STATUES OF REMARKABLE WOMEN
Florence Nightingale Statue at Waterloo
Waterloo Place, Westminster
Celebrate the 'Lady with the Lamp' with our whistle-stop Florence tour. Start at the Florence Nightingale statue in Waterloo Place, Westminster. The bronze sculpture showing Florence holding her lamp is nestled in the centre of the road next to the incredible Guards Crimean War Memorial. Next hop on your bike and pedal to 10 South Street, W1K 1DE and search out her blue plaque.
Violette Szabo and the SOE
Albert Embankment, in front of Lambeth Palace
The Special Operations Executive, SOE, recruited volunteer agents who operated undercover in occupied territory. Violette Szabo, whose sculpture is on the plinth, was one such agent. She was caught on her second mission into France and imprisoned in the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. She was executed there in 1945, aged 23. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre and was among 117 SOE agents who did not survive their missions to France. Discover more about her story and that of the SOE agents through the National Army Museums Stories
Victoria Tower Gardens, beside the House of Parliament
Next up is the truly inspirational Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) and creator of the famous slogan 'deeds not words'. Aim to start at her majestic statue next to the Houses of Parliament. Jump on your bike and pedal via Brompton Cementery where you will find her grave (a few steps from the Old Brompton Road entrance) before pedalling to Clarendon Road, W11 3AD where you will spot her blue plague on number 50.
In the gardens of St Thomas's Hospital
Following a hard fought 12 year campaign this glorious statue celebrates the life and tireless work of Jamaican-born nurse, Mary Seacole, who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War. Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother who ran a boarding house for invalid soldiers. She is buried at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Green.
Herne Bay, Kent
One for a later date (please God)! We have pencilled in a trip to the seaside on 12 April so we can visit the statue of heroic Amy Johnson. A pioneering pilot and the first woman to fly solo from the UK to Australia in 1930. Johnson died during WWII when the RAF plane she was transporting crashed into the Thames Estuary. There is a matching statue in her home town of Hull close to her childhood home.
Julia Colls 1 March 2021