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Blue plaque to mark Duchess of Woking's former home

Blue plaque to mark Duchess of Woking's former home

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 2:43pm 26th September 2018. (Updated at 4:00pm 26th September 2018)

A blue plaque has been unveiled at a Woking home to commemorate the residence of Ethel Smyth, a composer, author, sportswoman and suffragette. 

Dame Ethel moved to the cottage she named 'Coign' in Hook Heath in 1910 - she remained there until she passed away in 1944. 

She was a keen sportswoman, who moved to the area to be closer to Woking Golf Club.

In her lifetime she had ten books published, all of which she wrote during her time in Hook Heath - Ethel also composed music while she lived in the property.

Many notable female figures visited the home, including Virginia Woolfe and Emmeline Pankhurst - who was arrested just outside the cottage.

Ethel's ashes were scattered in the woodland next to Woking Golf Course by her brother Robert.

The Woking cottage has since been renamed Brettanby Cottage and is home to the Gavey family. 

The Mayor of Woking, Councillor Will Forster, unveiled the plaque - he said: "“The current residents of Dame Ethel’s cottage are exceedingly proud of their connection to this significant historic landmark and it was a real honour to mark the life of such an accomplished and important figure in the history of women’s rights with an iconic blue plaque.” 

woking plaque 3
She played a significant role in the Votes for Women campaign
woking plaque 2

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