Post office damaged by suffragettes, Criccieth

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Post office damaged by suffragettes, Criccieth

This purpose-built post office was erected in 1910 to replace Criccieth’s first post office, which operated from a shop called Victoria House (15 High Street) for nearly 50 years.

Four years after opening, the post office made headline news around the nation. On 2 June 1914 a major meeting of Liberals was held at the foot of Criccieth Castle. As soon as the main speaker, David Lloyd George, started his speech he was heckled bcriccieth_arrested_suffragettey two suffragettes, sparking an angry reaction from the crowd.

This was a distraction, however. While the police were occupied by the unrest, two women armed with a hammer and a large “bed key” attacked the post office, smashing all three windows. They then ran down the High Street breaking more windows. So sudden and unexpected was the attack that residents and shopkeepers were completely taken by surprise. The suffragettes were restrained by citizens before being taken, struggling and shouting, to the police station (see photo). They were later taken to Porthmadog to await a special court the next day.

The following morning chaos ensued, with both defendants struggling, screaming and shouting at everyone. While one was before the bench, the other, using her bed, barricaded herself in the cell. A carpenter was sent for who had to saw a hole in the door through which the suffragette was pushed.

The damage to the post office windows alone was estimated at £11 8s (about £1,300 in today’s money).

After much disturbance, the two were committed to trial at Caernarfon. At the assizes a month later they were arraigned as Olive Wherry and Georgina Lloyd. Both were found guilty and given three months imprisonment.

With thanks to Robert Cadwalader

Postcode: LL52 0BU    View Location Map