Kiwi suffragette's bravery medal comes home

The medal was unwrapped for the first time since it was bought (Emily Cooper / Newshub.)
The medal was unwrapped for the first time since it was bought (Emily Cooper / Newshub.)

Te Papa has unboxed a rare bravery medal awarded to a Kiwi suffragette in the UK after winning it in an auction.

The national museum bought the medal, which was bestowed upon Frances Parker by the Women's Social and Political Union, in early February.

The early 20th Century medal was bought for around NZ$40,000 from auction house Dix Noonan Webb.

It has just arrived in New Zealand, and Te Papa says it is an important part of the country's history.

Kiwi suffragette's bravery medal comes home

 

Born in Kurow, Ms Parker left New Zealand in her 20s to study at Cambridge in the UK and in 1908 became involved in the British women's suffrage movement in 1908.

She rose through the ranks and became a prominent leader of the Union in Scotland.

Ms Parker was jailed numerous times for her part in violent protests and attempted arsons of well-known buildings, including the cottage of poet Robbie Burns.

She went on hunger strikes in 1912 and 1914, during which she was force-fed, and also suffered acts of violence and indecent assault.

After her death, the medal was left with Ethel Moorhead, a friend of Ms Parker's, whose family it stayed in until it was put up for sale by her descendants.

Newshub.