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 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.
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.
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.
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