You are here: Home > This Month's Highlight > 2014 Archive > May 2014: Destruction by fire

May 2014: Destruction by fire

Wargrave fireman

On 1st June 1914 the church of Wargrave was set on fire. It is alleged that the suffragette movement was responsible as postcards charging the authorities with tortouring women were found near the church. The suffragettes objected to the Church of England's marriage vows where the bride had to 'obey' her husband. A possible motive for arson perhaps.

These pictures found amongst the Wargrave parish records (ref. D/P145/28/14) show the extensive damage that the fire caused.

The suffragette movement began in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women's Suffrage. However, it was the members of the Women's Social and Political Union set up by Emmeline Pankhurst who gained the nickname of suffragettes. Although most protests were peaceful, they began undertaking more violent actions in order to get results.

However, in August 1914 the First World War broke out and the suffragettes suspended their actions pledging to help the war effort. As a result of the actions of women in general during the war years, all women over 30 where given the right to vote in 1918. In 1928 women gained equal suffrage with men and the voting age was reduced to 21.

The damage to Wargrave was substantial and it was not until 1916 that the church was restored and consecrated ready for its parishioners to use once again.

Wargrave fire inside

 

Leave a Comment

Fields marked with a * are required

0 response(s) so far…

 

Latest News
Visitor Survey 2016 Results
The results of the UK Visitor Survey 2016 are now available
We're Accredited!
The BRO is now an Accredited Archive Service
10,000th collection received at the BRO
The Berkshire Record Office celebrates receiving its 10,000th accession
Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol online exhibition
New online gallery showcases Oscar Wilde and Reading prison
Distance Enquiry Services Survey 2015 Results
The results of the CIPFA Distance Survey for the BRO are now available
Follow us on Twitter and Find Us on Facebook
Follow the Berkshire Record Office on Twitter

Latest Galleries

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol
Biographies of Wilde and Berkshire's Victorian prison

Small Objects of Power

Small Objects of Power
An Exhibition about Medieval Seals

Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State
Irish Patriots in Reading Gaol

The Berkshire Echo

The Berkshire Echo 82
January 2018: Orphans of the Sea: a short history of the RMNEF - Life at the ...