Fanny Parker (1875 – 1924)

Frances Mary 'Fanny' Parker, OBE, was born on 24th December 1875 in Waihao Downs, Waimate, New Zealand, one of five children to Harry Rainy Parker and his wife, Frances Emily Jane Kitchener. Her uncle was Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener, who paid for her education at Newnham College, Cambridge. Lord Kitchener was later said to have been 'disgusted' by her involvement in the suffrage movement.

Following a period of employment as a teacher, Fanny began campaigning for women's suffrage, becoming the organiser of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the West of Scotland in 1912. She took increasingly militant actions for which she was imprisoned several times.

In March 1912 she was sentenced to four months in Holloway Prison after joining the WSPU on a window-smashing raid. Whilst in prison she went on hunger strike and was subjected to force feeding.

Later that year she was imprisoned again, once for breaking windows and again for breaking in to The Music Hall in Aberdeen to disrupt an appearance by David Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On both occasions she was released early after hunger striking.

Fanny was arrested in 1914 when she attempted to set fire to Robert Burns' Cottage in Alloway with fellow suffragette Ethel Moorhead. When she went on hunger and thirst strike, the authorities subjected her to brutal force-feeding via her rectum. After release, she was seriously ill, but managed to evade the police. War broke out before she could be found and an amnesty was introduced for suffragettes and an end to militant campaigning.

After the war, Fanny lived in Arcachon, near Bordeaux, where she died on 19th January 1924.

Fanny's case can be examined in file 1 and file 2 held by National Records of Scotland.