Suffragettes and Jiu-Jitsu (1910)

From the Wanganui Chronicle, 9 August 1910, Page 5.

No longer is the annoying male interjector to disturb the tranquility of the peaceful Suffragette at her meetings (says the London “Standard”). A Women Athletes’ Society, the latest adjunct of the Women’s Freedom League, has been organised by Mrs. Garrud, a ju-jitsu expert, and Miss Kelly, one of the hunger-strikers, who entered a Dundee meeting by way of the fanlights.

Mrs. Garrud is not an inch taller than five feet, but she has already enjoyed the pleasure of throwing a six-foot policeman over her shoulder. “He was a very nice man, and he didn’t mind a bit,” she said. “But there are other men who are not a bit nice, men who are merely silly and a nuisance to others besides themselves. I have already had the pleasure of ejecting one youth from a woman’s franchise meeting, and after we have had our new society in full swing for some months, we hope to have a regular band of jujitsu officers, who will be able to deal with all the male rowdies who dare to bother us. Only to-day I received a letter from the headmistress of a North London girls’ school saying that she desires to enroll all her pupils in our society.”

Edith Garrud: the votes are in!

As reported in this earlier post, the Islington Borough Council recently ran a poll to determine which five of ten candidates, all former residents of, or events associated with Islington, should be commemorated with permanent memorial plaques.

We’re pleased to announce that suffragette and jujitsu pioneer Edith Garrud was among the top five candidates. The final results were:

– John Wright (founder of the Angel Theatre) – 634 votes
– Author Douglas Adams – 489 votes
– Suffragette Edith Garrud – 356 votes
– The Peasants’ Revolt at Highbury – 290 votes
– Boat club pioneer Crystal Hale – 274 votes

Edith Garrud may have been among the original female students of the Bartitsu Club in Shaftesbury Avenue. She later ran her own jujitsu school and became the chief trainer of the Suffragette Bodyguard, the group of twenty-five women who volunteered to physically protect the leaders of their movement from arrest and assault. Her achievements are recorded in the book Edith Garrud: the suffragette who knew jujutsu.

The results of the Islington Borough Council’s poll are now available online and her plaque will be unveiled later this year. We will endeavour to post updates regarding the unveiling ceremony.

Thanks to all who voted and congratulations to Edith Garrud’s descendants, who lobbied for her inclusion in the People’s Plaques scheme.

Vote for Edith!

We all now have an opportunity to vote for a memorial plaque to record Edith Garrud’s memory as a pioneer of Jujutsu and a suffragette. Islington Council in London will erect a plaque on one of the houses where she lived if she receives enough votes. Edith is one of ten candidates for a plaque and the top five will be commemorated.

You can vote for Edith online via the Islington People’s Plaques website.

Edith Garrud: the Suffragette who knew jujutsu

Cover sample

Announcing the publication of a new book for teenage readers, or indeed for any reader interested in the true story of Edith Garrud, who taught jujutsu to the secret Bodyguard society of the English women’s suffrage movement.

Edith and her husband William were among the first generation of English jujutsu instructors, having learned the art from Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi and other notables.

The book details Edith Garrud’s life and career as a self defence instructor in Edwardian London and the adventures of the jujutsu-trained Bodyguard society, known as the Jujutsuffragettes, in protecting their leaders from arrest and assault. My hope is that it will inspire some young people, especially girls, both to stand up for what they believe in and also to enroll in martial arts training.

Suggested for readers aged 12 and older; includes 29 illustrations.

To view a free PDF preview and to order online, please visit the virtual bookstore.