Charlotte Marsh

Charlotte “Charlie” Marsh (1887-1961) – United Kingdom

Oil and embroidery on linen canvas.

Charlotte “Charlie” Marsh was born in 1887 near Newcastle and became an ardent campaigner for women’s rights during the early twentieth century. This dress was the standard women’s prison uniform at the time. The broad arrow used was the shorthand symbol on all government property.

One of seven sisters, Charlie trained as a sanitary inspector before joining the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1907. Over the next few years, she was imprisoned several times due to her fervent activism, including being caught smashing windows in central London (an experience she described as “walking down the Strand as if [she] was playing hockey”) and throwing tiles at the Prime Minister’s car. In prison, she went on hunger strike and was forcibly fed 139 times.

During WW1, she trained as a mechanic and was even chauffeur to Prime Minister Lloyd George! After the war, she continued campaigning for gender equality by working for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, as well as for London County Council.

Certain women in the UK were given the vote in 1918, but it wasn’t until 1928 that women achieved the same voting rights as men.


Additional information

Dimensions 90 × 120 cm

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