Women and politics

Women did not have the vote on the same terms as men until 1929, but, of course, that did not stop them adopting political allegiances from an early age.  Families often shared party loyalties.  Mrs Roper, for example, was aware even as a little girl that she came from a Labour family: 

‘We were Labour.  I remember Mr Jackson, the Labour man.  We all used to sing -

Vote, vote vote for Mr Jackson

Punch Dalrymple in the eye

For Jackson is a winner and

Dalrymple is a sinner …

Other families, of course, were Tories:

Q Were your father and uncle involved in politics?

A No.  They were Conservatives. [no irony intended!]

Mrs Finch, whose father was a manager at Packards at the Docks, showed an understanding of class structure and politics even though she said:

            ‘I don’t understand politics.  We were Conservatives.  My husband’s people were Liberal.  But this is really a Labour town – working class.’  (Mrs Finch., b. Ipswich 1896)


Children gather around Charles Masterman's election poster.  He was the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for the Ipswich parliamentary seat in May 1914.



Not all married couples shared the same political opinions.  Joyce Dumper remembered that her parents had very different views:

            ‘We took the News Chronicle which was Labour.  It suited my father – who was Labour - but mother was a traditional Conservative.  She used to tell us wonderful stories about going to Oakley Park Mansion when she was a child.  She’d be allowed to go up into the gallery when there were balls and wonderful music.  She admired it all and was grateful to the Kerrison family.’