Photograph of the Suffragette Dorothy Louise Meihè wearing the official regalia of the Women's Social & Political Union. Depicted standing outside a shop or cafe Dorothy is carrying and a pole in one hand and bag in the other. The image was probably taken as Dorothy prepared to take part in an official Suffragette procession or rally. The bag she carries may contain a flag or banner that would be flown from the pole.
This photograph is part of a collection of Suffragette items used and owned by Dorothy Louise Meihè. Dorothy was born in 1876 at 1 Park Avenue, West Norwood to a Swiss Father and English Mother, Fanny. The family soon moved to a substantial detached house, built for them by an architect at 34 Ambleside Avenue, Streatham where Dorothy's younger sister Winifrede was born. John Meihè, a Baltic timber merchant became a UK citizen in 1878 but died on a business trip to Switzerland in 1885. Dorothy,along with her Mother, Sister and rmaternal Aunt, Alice Ellen Wilson were all involved with the Women's Social & Political Union. During their period of political activity Fanny, Dorothy & Alice resided at 34 Ambleside Avenue. An indication of the family's involvement in the campaign is evidenced by a photograph depicting Dorothy posing with her Mother, Aunt Alice, sister and her nephew and niece before the curio and bric a brac stall run by Alice at the WSPU Christmas Fair of 1911. This collection suggests that, as well as assisting with the organisation of such fund-raising events Dorothy was attending mass Suffragette rallies and processions and would appear to have enjoyed the spectacle of such rousing events and wearing the colours with pride. Although Dorothy did not serve a tem of imprisonment for Suffragette militancy she is listed in WSPU annual reports as a regular financial donor to the campaign from 1907.
In later years Dorothy inherited her unmarried Aunt Alice's estate with the understanding that on Dorothy's death the residue money would be used to establish a scholarship for female medical students at the Royal Free Hospital, London. This scholarship continues today.