Clara Rackham (Tabor)

Clara was a member of the Cambridge Women’s Suffrage Association branch of the NUWSS and also served some years as President of the Eastern Counties NUWSS branch.

Clara was a member of the Cambridge Women’s Suffrage Association branch of the NUWSS and also served some years as President of the Eastern Counties NUWSS branch. She held numerous positions including city councillor for 28 years, county councillor for 38 years.

She was also a Poor Law Guardian (1904 – 17), President of the Co-operative Women’s Guild for 23 years and during the First World War she was a Factory Inspector.

At the end of the First World War, Clara joined the Labour Party and during the 1920s and 1930s she stood as a prospective parliamentary candidate three times, the first time as an Independent, but was not elected. Clara was also a magistrate (1920 – 50), a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform and part-time lecturer for the Workers Educational Association (WEA).

Clara gave unstinting and unpaid service to the local community in every field of local care and welfare for many years. She encapsulated admirably just why women should have had the vote at the time. They were needed to address areas of everyday life that had been neglected due to industrialisation and urban life including the plight of women and children.

Clara was at the forefront of the local suffrage scene for many years and spoke at many rallies including the Suffrage Pilgrimage when she gave a rousing speech in Cambridge Market Place. She gave over 40 years of service to the local community and at the age of 89, walked 8 miles in the Aldermaston Ban the Bomb March in 1960. She was an indomitable lady that deserves national recognition.

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