A tragic story of love, pain and death, with the women's suffrage movement as a backdrop.
In 1910 Hugh became the Private Secretary to Sir Matthew Nathan at the Post Office.
He had to resign two months later after he was arrested (not charged) during the protest in Parliament Square on 18 November, the day that became known as Black Friday because of police brutality towards the women demonstrators.
Between 1910 and 1913, Hugh was a voluntary organiser of the Men’s Political Union for Women’s Enfranchisement, founded by Elsie Duval’s brother, Victor.
On 8 March 1911 Hugh was arrested for trying to smash Churchill’s windows in Eccleston Square.
He was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment and went on hunger strike.
Hugh was arrested five times in all, serving three prison sentences with forcible feeding.
In April 1913 he was released under the Cat and Mouse Act after two months’ forcible feeding out of a nine month sentence.
He took the alias “Henry Forster”, escaped to the continent to recoup his health and never went back to prison.
During the First World War, Hugh served as a clerical officer at the Ordnance Factories at Woolwich.
Elsie offered to work at the hospital in France run by Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray as part of the Women’s Hospital Corps.
In this letter she describes her life of exile as a “suffragette mouse”. Elsie doesn’t seem to have worked at the hospital, as she was selling suffrage papers in London in July 1915.