Flora’s role in vote fight
Display throws light on Dalton medic
The little known story of one of Dumfriesshire’s most prominent suffragettes, Dr Flora Murray, is being told in a new exhibition.
Women Winning the Vote at Gretna, celebrating the centenary of women’s suffrage, opened at the Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs this week.
Richard Brodie, of Eastriggs and Dornock Heritage Group, said: “Dr Murray, from Dalton, was a passionate supporter of Emmeline Pankhurst.
“Flora treated women injured in demonstrations and opposed the government policy of force-feeding. She also worked tirelessly during the war setting up hospitals in Paris and London, treating thousands of patients.”
Pupils from Eastriggs Primary have made placards for the exhibition which turns the clock back 100 years.
Mr Brodie, helped by the museum’s collection manager Sarah Harper and a team of volunteers, have spent months unearthing Dr Murray’s history.
Flora was born in 1869 at Murraythwaite to wealthy landowner John Murray and his wife Grace. She became prominently involved in the suffrage movement while working in London. Flora spoke at public meetings, joined the 1911 census protest and treated suffragettes injured in demonstrations.
She also campaigned against the force-feeding of hunger-strikers.
The outbreak of war in 1914 gave the suffragettes amnesty. Flora threw herself into the war effort, teaming up with lifelong friend Dr Louisa Garrett to provide medical services for troops.
Both received the CBE for their outstanding service. After the war Flora, above, continued to campaign for full equality but died prematurely from cancer before this was finally achieved in 1928.
Her life is remembered with a memorial plaque in Dalton Church.
The Devil’s Porridge Museum is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm, and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
Visit Parents and pupils from Lochside Primary with Sarah Harper and Richard Brodie