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March 16th, 2022

Remembering the Suffragettes: Alison Neilans (1884-1942)

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

LSE PAGE

March 16th, 2022

Remembering the Suffragettes: Alison Neilans (1884-1942)

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Alison Neilans was a feminist advocate who supported the Suffrage movement and was delegate at the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship. This is the third blog post in the Remember the Suffragettes blog series, looking at the lives of four suffrage campaigners from our Women’s Library. 

Alison Neilans was a bookkeeper from East Dulwich who became heavily involved with several Suffragette groups. She is known to have been involved with the Women’s Freedom League, the Church League for Women’s Suffrage and the East London Federation of Suffragettes.

Alison Neilans. TWL 2009 02 121. LSE
Alison Neilans. TWL 2009 02 121. LSE

Alison went to prison three times for her Suffragette actions. Her last imprisonment was for the pouring of liquid into ballot boxes during the Bermondsey by-election, for which she was given three months in Holloway prison.

Charlotte Despard and Alison Neilans at the window, 1908. TWL 2000 78. LSE
Charlotte Despard and Alison Neilans at the window, 1908. TWL 2000 78. LSE

Her release from this sentence was described in The Vote, a  publication by the Women’s Freedom League in February 1910:

There is no poetry in the early morning – only grim reality; and the crowd of us who watched for the gate to open were not a little sad and not a little dispirited. And it was our prisoner who cheered us up. The gates opened at last, and swinging down the yard came Alison, a little thinner, but brave and young and dauntless, with the light of battle in her eyes. ‘I’m keener than ever’ was her greeting. 

Account of the trial of Alison Neilans, 1910 JF 42 B61. LSE
Account of the trial of Alison Neilans, 1910 JF 42 B61. LSE

Alison Neilans continued her feminist advocacy after 1918. In 1926 she was a delegate at the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, and she also became Secretary of the Association for Social and Moral Hygiene which advocated on issues around sexually transmitted diseases, trafficking and prostitution.

Alison Neilans, Women's Freedom League. TWL 2009 01 30. LSE
Alison Neilans, Women’s Freedom League. TWL 2009 01 30. LSE

Find out more about The Women’s Library collection

Posts about LSE Library explore the history of the Library, our archives and special collections.

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This post was originally a Twitter thread by LSE PAGE 

About the author

Pencils on a yellow background. Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

LSE PAGE

LSE's Philanthropy and Global Engagement division (PAGE) supports and advances the School’s philanthropic, alumni, corporate and international partnership engagement.

Posted In: LSE Library | People | Women at LSE

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