Suffragette gallantry medal auctions for $18,500

A gallantry medal awarded to a suffragette has sold for ?�12,300 ($18,300) at a UK auction, reports the BBC.

The medal was given to Helen MacRae, who in 1910 smashed windows in Whitehall and had to be force fed during a four-month jail term.

Suffragette photo Wiki
The British suffragette movement finally won the vote for women in 1918

The medal, which sold at Lockdales in Suffolk on March 21, reads "For Valour" on the front, with the obverse stating "Fed by Force 1/3/12".

The medals were first made in 1909.

James Sadler, Lockdales' auction manager, told the East Grinstead Courier before the auction: "This really is an exceptionally rare medal.

"Very few of these come on the market. It's certainly the first we've ever handled."

The buyer was a professional woman who collects suffragette memorabilia.

MacRae was a founding member of the East Grinstead chapter of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.

The society formed in Britain in 1897 in an effort to secure the vote for women, eventually succeeding in 1918.

Suffragette memorabilia performs solidly at auction. A signed photo of Emmeline Pankhurst - the leader of the British movement - auctioned for $600 in 2004.

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