West Sussex Unwrapped 2021 – Women’s Suffrage in West Sussex

This month West Sussex Unwrapped 2021 takes a look at women’s suffrage in West Sussex. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Screen Archive South East and its partner the West Sussex Record Office have assembled a package of archival items, films and a blog on this fascinating subject. Read the blog here.

One of the highlights of this month’s package is a film featuring the sombre yet defiant funeral of Emily Wilding Davison, the woman responsible for the Suffragette movement’s most spectacular and tragic event.

Watch the whole film Funeral Procession of the Woman Who Dared

Screen Archive South East has many films in its collection which feature the important role of women in the life of the region that SASE serves – Surrey, Kent, Brighton & Hove as well as both East and West Sussex. Below are three films which represent three aspects of women’s roles in the years after the heyday of the suffrage movement. Use the links below to view and enjoy these absorbing films.

Off to Work They Go


This film, from the Hearing & Deafness Film Association, was directed by Michael Harvey and it features Janet, who is seen going through the application and interview process for a job at the Inland Revenue Office in Worthing. As the film reveals, Janet, despite her disability, manages to have a career, friends and financial independence.

Bognor Gazette: London Ladies MCC at Bognor


This short film features women of action – literally – on motorcycles participating in an all- female road-race to Epsom. Here, they call in at one of the stages – the seafront at Bognor Regis. The film ends with the leather-clad ladies roaring off on the final stage of their journey to Epsom.

Incendiary Bomb Practise


In a time of national crisis, we see the women of Canterbury doing their bit for Civil Defence in this amazing film from the Canterbury film-maker Sydney Bligh. Demonstrating that they’re every bit as able as their male counterparts, these women don overalls and enter smoke-filled spaces while others operate stirrup-pumps.

Don’t forget to watch out for our next instalment of West Sussex Unwrapped – on the 13th of April, which will be all about schools.