June 21, 2018

Burslem is proud to have been commissioned by the Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery to restore two memorials to three notable local women.

The memorial to eminent statistician Ethel Newbold and the shared memorial of suffragist Lydia Le Lacheur and her suffragette daughter Dorothy Le Lacheur are situated at Tunbridge Wells Cemetery in Hawkenbury and were in need of restoration and repair.

Ethel Newbold Le Lacheur memorial restoration

Newbold memorial before restoration

The Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery asked Burslem to restore the memorials in time for the recent Exhibition of Exceptional Women of Tunbridge Wells at the Cemetery. The Exhibition marks the centenary year of women first getting the right to vote.

The restoration work was carried out by Burslem’s expert team and involved up-righting and re-fixing the Le Lacheur headstone and repairing the kerbs surrounding the Newbold memorial. Both memorials were then sensitively cleaned.

Tunbridge Wells Councillor Jane March recently visited the cemetery to view the restored memorials and added planting to both.

Ethel Newbold and Lydia and Dorothy Le Lacheur are examples of remarkably courageous and pioneering women and each lead a life of great purpose and achievement.

Ethel Newbold (1882-1933), lived at Broadwater Down and attended Tunbridge Wells High School.  She went on to gain a first class degree in mathematics at Cambridge and was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Statistical Society’s Silver Guy Medal for her work on the statistics of repeated events in 1927.  In 2014 the International Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability set up the Ethel Newbold Prize for outstanding excellence in mathematical statistics research, a reflection of the value of her work.

Ethel Newbold Le Lacheur memorial restoration

Newbold memorial after restoration

Lydia Le Lacheur (1843-1927) lived in a Gothic mansion on the Pembury Road known as ‘The Wilderness’ and was a Suffragist, using peaceful means to campaign for votes for women. She had eight daughters who she brought up as independent and well-educated women. Lydia was Treasurer of the local branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (many meetings were hosted at The Wilderness) and took part in the ‘Kent Pilgrimage’ to Downing Street and in 1911 helped the Women’s Tax Resistance League to campaign.

Dorothy Le Lacheur (1883-1917) was the sixth of Lydia Lacheur’s eight daughters.  Educated at Tunbridge Wells High School, Dorothy went on to join the militant Women’s Social and Political Union and Women’s Freedom League.  As a suffragette Dorothy became a seasoned marcher and speaker and had unbounded energy, engaging in open-air meetings, leafleting and other publicity for her cause. Dorothy died of pneumonia in 1917, aged 34, a year before she would have achieved the right to vote. Her mother died 10 years later and shares the grave of her daughter in the cemetery.

The Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery funded the restoration of the Le Lacheur memorial and the Newbold memorial was paid for by the Bernoulli Society.

Women's Suffrage Society Tunbridge Wells Le Lacheur Newbold Memorial Restoration

Women’s Suffrage Society, Tunbridge Wells

David Hall, Managing Director of Burslem Memorials said: “We were extremely honoured to be asked to work on this project commemorating these remarkable local women. We are very pleased with the finished results of our team’s restoration work and it’s great to know the memorials will serve as a lasting reminder and tribute for future generations.”

Burslem offer a complete service of producing and installing new memorials as well as memorial restoration, additional inscriptions and cleaning.

Contact our friendly team here for further information.




Lydia Dorothy Le Lacheur memorial restoration Tunbridge Wells Cemetery
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