Bradford Women’s Humanity League
Nominated by Shannen Johnson, Learning and Engagement Officer, The Peace Museum
“Just next to the door of Pound City on Westgate – a former textile hall linking back to Bradford’s industrial past – lies this blue plaque commemorating the Bradford Women’s Humanity League (BWHL). The plaque, while not an official round plaque, was designed and funded by the Bradford City for Peace Group in 2007. It was cast at a foundry in West Bowling.
“On 9 September 1917, around 350 women of the League, supported by up to 3000 Bradfordians, set off from the textile hall to take part in an anti-war demonstration and march across the city. Three years into a bloody war that had cost the lives of millions, these women wanted their voices to be heard.
“Many other women’s peace groups during the war that we know about today, tend to be made up of middle class women, but the BWHL were working class women, therefore the plaque shines a light on often forgotten history. It’s also key, as at the time women and working class men were unable to vote, and not given a voice, and therefore had to peacefully protest. These women were also able to use their unique position as mothers, wives, grandmothers and aunties; they might not have experienced the true horror of the battlefields, but they felt the pain of loss back home and they used their voices as mothers of the future generations to call to an end to the horror of warfare.
“The Peace Museum tells many stories like that of the BWHL, of women using their voices to denounce war and to provide a peaceful and safe future for us all.”
With thanks to Peter Nias and Eve Haskins who have done extensive research on the Bradford Women’s Humanity League.