SAVE SARAH CHAPMAN'S GRAVE, A LEADER OF THE 1888 MATCHGIRLS STRIKE & TRADE UNION HEROINE
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SARAH Dearman, née CHAPMAN – Matchgirls 1888 Strike Committee, Matchmakers' Union and TUC Delegate
Born: 31st October 1862 – Died: 27th November 1945 – Buried: 3rd December 1945
Sarah Chapman was a leading member of the 1888 Matchgirls Strike Committee, and is pictured above with the newly formed Matchmakers' Union. Sarah (ringed) is standing to the right of Herbert Burrows and Annie Besant, the Socialist Reformers. Sarah went on to become one of the first working-class women to represent their Union at the TUC.
Sadly, despite the great contribution Sarah made to the beginnings of the modern trade union movement and to working women’s rights, Sarah’s final resting place is a ‘pauper’s grave’ in Manor Park Cemetery. The grave, nothing more than a grassy footpath with no marking, let alone a headstone, was rediscovered by her Great Granddaughter in early 2017.
With burial space running out in London, cemeteries are looking at ways to reclaim land and at Manor Park they do this by ‘mounding over’ so that they can re-use the space. The area adjacent to Sarah is now scheduled to be mounded over and there is every possibility that this will be extended to include Sarah's grave. The Cemetery has offered a plaque elsewhere in the cemetery grounds but Sarah’s descendants feel she deserves to be remembered at the exact location of her grave.
With your support we hope to place a permanent memorial to Sarah on the site of her grave. We already have parliamentary support via Lyn Brown MP and Author Louise Raw (see her Facebook page - Matchwomen Memorial @MatchwomenRemembered).
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, CALL ON MANOR PARK CEMETERY TO SAVE SARAH CHAPMAN'S GRAVE FOR POSTERITY:
- Lord Chancellor an Secretary of State for Justice
The Rt Hon David Lidington MP
SAVE SARAH CHAPMAN'S GRAVE-A LEADER OF THE 1888 MATCHGIRLS STRIKE; TRADE UNION HEROINE
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