SUFFRAGETTE, LILIAN LENTON, TWICKENHAM
Lilian Lenton was repeatedly jailed for her suffragette beliefs in her early 20s. She trained as a dancer, but was so incensed by the government's refusal to give women the vote that she became an arsonist, with the ambition of burning down every empty building that she saw to force attention to the cause. She was accused of setting fire to the refreshments pavilion at Kew Gardens and was imprisoned in 1913. While on hunger strike, she was force fed through a tube in her nose, and contracted septic pneumonia as a result of the liquid food going entering her lungs. Her treatment, and subsequent denial by the then Home Secretary, drew widespread condemnation.
Eventually, after being incarcerated in a series of prisons, Lilian's sympathisers devised her escape, and aided her passage to mainland Europe. She worked in a women's hospital in Serbia during the First World War, later becoming a speaker for the Save the Children Fund. Lilian Lenton died in 1972.