The Suffragette Elsie Howey as Joan of Arc on horseback, April 17th 1909. Elsie Howey is taking part in the 'welcome procession' that greeted the Suffragette leader Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence on her release from Holloway Prison. The image depicts the procession as it passes Trafalgar Square on its way to reception at the Aldwych Theatre.
Elsie Howey was a committed Suffragette. She travelled the country as a salaried WSPU Organiser and served several terms of imprisonment for militancy. She was also a member of the Young Hot Bloods, a group of young suffragettes, fiercely loyal to Emmeline & Christabel Pankhurst. This secretive group, dedicated to carrying out 'danger duty' met every Saturday at 4.30pm in Alan's Tea Rooms in Oxford Street and were used by the WSPU to lead protests, organise parliamentary demonstrations and harass government ministers. Elsie also memorably attended Suffragette processions riding a white horse and dressed as Joan of Arc, as depicted in this image. In a letter to the Suffragette Fellowship her Mother, also a Suffragette campaigner noted Elsie, required 4 months medical treatment to recover from force feeding. 'Her beautiful voice was ruined'