Ellen Pitfield (died August 1912) was an English midwife, suffragette and member of Emmeline Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union. Pitfield was arrested five times in relation to her suffrage activities, and was force-fed in 1909 after going on hunger strike in prison. After being released in 1909, she is reported to have said: "There are only two things that matter to me in the world: principle and liberty. For these I will fight as long as there is life in my veins. I am no longer an individual, I am an instrument."
Pitfield had been given a Hunger Strike Medal 'for Valour' by WSPU.
On 18 November 1910, Penfield was injured during the police attack on women at the Black Friday protest outside the House of Commons; according to Sylvia Pankhurst, she sustained a wound on her thigh that did not heal. She was later told she had cancer and that it was incurable. As a result, wanting to be useful to the suffragette movement, she set fire in 1912 to a basket of wood shavings in a post office, broke a window, and gave herself up to the police. She was sentenced to six months in prison on 19 March 1912 after being carried to the court from the prison hospital. According to Pankhurst, she was released in May, after the Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement started a petition on her behalf, and was cared for at Pembroke Garden nursing home by Nurses Catherine Pine and Gertrude Townend, and died three months later.
- Morrell 1981, p. 49.
- Pankhurst 1984, pp. 421–422.
- "Six Months for Suffragette". St Albans Weekly Messenger. London. 28 March 1912. p. 3. Retrieved 13 June 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Atkinson, Diane (2018). Rise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes. London: Bloomsbury. p. 302. ISBN 9781408844045. OCLC 1016848621.
- Morrell, Caroline (1981). "Black Friday": Violence Against Women in the Suffragette Movement. London: Women's Research and Resources Centre Publications.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Pankhurst, E. Sylvia (1984) . The Suffragette Movement: An Intimate Account of Persons and Ideals. London: Chatto & Windus.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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