8 March 2018
“A friend of mine who was brought up in Thurston told me about a lady she remembered from her childhood who was described as a retired actress and suffragette,”
explains Helen Geake, former Time Team presenter and Green Party parliamentary candidate for Bury St Edmunds in the 2015 and 2017 general elections.
"The commemorations of the centenary of suffrage for some women last month prompted further research into the life of Adeline Bourne, who lived in Thurston from the early 1950s until 1964 and is buried in the village churchyard. “She was an amazing woman, who apart from being a well-known actress both in this country and on Broadway, was a founder member of the Actresses’ Franchise League in 1908,”
“I grew up taking it for granted that women could vote in elections, but since becoming more involved in politics I can appreciate the tremendous struggle that went on over a hundred years ago to help achieve this right. We missed out on commemorating this remarkable woman as part of the centenary celebrations, but International Women’s Day on 8th March seems an equally relevant day on which to plant flowers on her grave. We hope she would have appreciated the violet primroses – violet being a colour used by the suffragettes.”
International Women’s Day has been held on March 8th since 1914 and grew out of the campaign for votes for women across the world. The first IWD saw Sylvia Pankhurst arrested on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square. The theme of this year’s day is equal pay and closing the gender pay gap, under the hashtag #PressforProgress.
Picture shows Helen Geake planting violet primroses on Adeline Bourne’s grave, with local resident Wendy Turner.
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