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Suffragette Edith Garrud honoured by Islington People’s Plaque at her former Thornhill Square home

June 30, 2012

Edith Garrud (left) with her children Sybil and Owen

Suffragette Edith Garrud is the latest Islington resident to be awarded a commemorative People’s Plaque outside her former home on Thornhill Square. The event on Saturday 30th June, brought together members of her family at 60 Thornhill Square, N1, for the plaque’s unveiling.

Edith Garrud (1872-1971) was one of the western world’s first female professional martial arts instructors. With her husband William Garrud, she ran a jiu-jitsu school on Seven Sisters Road.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council said: “Edith Garrud’s pioneering career and the Suffragettes’ victory on votes for women have contributed to making our society fairer and more inclusive.

“It’s historic contributions like hers that have stamped their mark on our borough and inspired residents to vote in their thousands for their Islington’s People’s Plaques heroes.”

Garrud trained the Suffragettes’ defence unit, ‘The Bodyguard’, which protected its members from police arrest arrest. She was depicted in a cartoon in ‘Punch’ magazine in July 1910, tackling a group of policemen single-handed.
Over 1,000 Suffragettes were sent to Holloway Prison for making public protests and their supporters held regular demonstrations outside the jail.

Earlier this year, the Islington Tribune published a fuller tribute to Edith.

Islington’s popular award scheme – started in 2010 to recognise the people, events and places that have shaped the borough – continues to capture the public’s imagination. Over 3,000 votes were cast in the poll to find this year’s top three winners.

The plaque at 60 Thornhill Square was also more recently the home of community activist, Lisa Pontecorvo, who tragically died in a road accident in September 2008.

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