A PRESTIGIOUS medal awarded to a Suffragette who was jailed for throwing a missile at Winston Churchill's car as he attended an election rally in Bolton is to go under the hammer.

Nellie Godfrey broke through strong timber barricades erected by police ­— who were suspecting protests ­— to lob an iron missile at Mr Churchill’s car in December 1909 during the campaign to give women the right to vote.

At the time Churchill, the Member of Parliament for Dundee, was President of the Board of Trade, and was undertaking a campaign tour of Lancashire.

Attached to the missile was a message ‘Thrown by a woman of England as a protest against the Government’s treatment of political prisoners.’

The next day she appeared at Bolton Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to the offence.

The Bolton News: Nellie Godfrey

(Nellie Godfrey)

She was fined 40 shillings, but refused to pay and was sent to prison for seven days where she went on hunger strike. Miss Godfrey was released when her condition began to deteriorate to stop her from becoming a political martyr.

Miss Godfrey returned to London, and two years later appeared again before Bow Street Magistrates on 27 November 1911 – her third appearance at Bolton Magistrates Court.

Her fight for women’s rights earned her the Women’s Social and Political Union Medal, she joined the union in 199.

Now the medal is to be auctioned off with the money raise continuing Miss Godfrey’s legacy, with proceeds being donated to the Fawcett Society.

Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of client liaison, associate director, of auction house Dix, Noonan, Webb, said: “We are very pleased to be offering her Suffragette medal which reflect's the courage shown by Nellie Godfrey in her endeavour to support the campaign for women's right to vote.

The Bolton News: Nellie Godfrey

Not a lot is known about her she lived in a flat in Muswell Hill, North London next door to Sandra Lamberti (nee Andres) who had arrived here from Spain with her Gilbraltarian mother and Spanish father who was political refugee from Franco Spain.

“Miss Godfrey befriended the family and helped teach Sandra to speak perfect English and became her adoptive grandmother.

“The medal was left to Sandra and her family when Nellie passed away in the late 1950s. Sandra passed away a few years ago hence the family are selling it to aid the Fawcett Society – a campaign for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life to acknowledge Nellie’s life and values.”

Felicia Willow, Fawcett Society Chief Exec, said: "The Fawcett Society is honoured to be receiving the funds raised by the sale of Nellie Godfrey's suffragette medal.

“These precious items remind us of the dedication and bravery of the many women who fought for the vote, and the significant challenges they overcame along the way.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous donation and hope Nellie would be proud of our work to continue fighting for equality and women's rights."

The medal is expected to fetch around £6,000 to £8,000 at the auction which will be online, due to current covid restrictions.

Customers are able to bid live online (DNW make no additional charge for this service) or leave commission bids prior to the auction.

The live online auction will take place on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 on their website www.dnw.co.uk.