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Duration 1:24

Emily Davison killed at Derby

Opening title says Tattenham Corner, followed by scenes of horses racing past. A new title then tells us ‘Suffragette killed in attempt to pull down the King’s horse’. We then see the famous scene where Davison is hit by the horse, followed by people rushing to the scene. The film then shows the rest of the horses finishing the race and then switches back to views of the crowd.


Emily Wilding Davison was a militant Suffragette who was well known for her daring and dangerous exploits in trying to promote the cause of women’s suffrage. At the Derby race in June 1913 she tried to grab the reins of the King’s horse but was struck and killed in the attempt. Nobody really knows whether she was trying to commit suicide or was trying to stop the horse in a sensational protest.

Interesting or important points about the film

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this film is the way in which the events are reported. The reporting seems rather bland. There is no condemnation or sympathy for Davison. However, it is clear that it was a sensational event from the crowd reaction. The film gives us a feel for the speed and power of the racehorses.

Please note that this video is silent.


  1. Carol A. Reader says:

    It would be a real bonus if links on The National Archive web pages worked. The Suffrage films are three more examples of links which produce nothing. Searches this morning were painfully slow or resulted in error messages. I was expecting better from TNA.

    1. Liz Bryant (Admin) says:

      Dear Carol,

      Thanks very much for alerting us to the problem. We’re looking into the cause.

      Best regards,


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