Charlotte Despard

Today’s images come from London but there is an Irish and a Belfast connection. Charlotte Despard was a novelist, suffragist, socialist, pacifist, vegetarian, and Sinn Féin advocate in the years around the Lock Out, the Rising, and the War Of Independence. She moved from London – where she worked to alleviate poverty among the children of the Battersea area – to Dublin after WWI and was classed as a “dangerous subversive” by the Irish Free State. The image above (which is a panel from a mural celebrating political radicals of Battersea, below) reproduces a photograph of Despard addressing the crowd at an anti-fascist/Communist rally in Trafalgar Square on June 11th, 1933 – four days before her 89th birthday. At the end of a very long of activism, she moved to Whitehead, County Antrim, where she died in 1939, and was buried in Glasnevin (WP).

A Battersea street is named after her – Charlotte Despard Avenue; the plaque is at 177 Lavender Hill – the offices of the Labour Party in Battersea.

Images Copyright © Peter Moloney
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