Beatrice Helen (maiden name unknown) was born in 1874. Her father was a hairdresser and her mother a tobacconist. She was married to William Sanders, a Fabian Society Lecturer – and later Labour MP for Battersea. She was a member of the Fabian women’s group.
Beatrice was arrested in 1907, 1910 and 1913, including for wilful damage at Nos 10 and 11 Downing Street along with Winifred Jones. She was the WSPU’s financial secretary, Sylvia Pankhurst described Beatrice as good humoured and business-like. Her husband organised a celebratory lunch at Euston Miles restaurant following her release in 1907.
In 1913, she was found guilty of conspiracy to commit damage and inciting others. By 1913, meetings of the WSPU were proscribed in public places. Beatrice, whose home was also raided, was sentenced to 15 months and imprisoned at Lewes jail, along with five other women, including Annie Kenney and a man. Her arrival in Lewes, on 18 June 2013 was recorded in the Sussex County Herald. She was described as a small-built woman in a serge costume with a sad or serious countenance.
Beatrice’s supporters also gathered on a field close to the prison, on the North Downs, and sang suffragette songs. A couple of days later, Beatrice was released under the Cat and Mouse Act into a nursing home in Southover. Her supporters shouted ‘No Surrender’ as her carriage left the prison. The newspaper records her looking weak and pale and wrapped up closely when she left the nursing home the following day and that her husband had to carry her to the carriage. Two weeks later, Beatrice was re-arrested. When the Dean of Westminster Abbey said the ten commandments on a Sunday during her imprisonment, 20 suffragettes stood up and chanted ‘God Save Annie Kenney, Beatrice Sanders and Harriet Kerr.”
Beatrice planted an Abies Veitchii on 19 March 1911. She died in 1932.
“After all enquirers [I] cannot discover that any news has been obtained of your sister” Beatrice Sanders to Rosa Billington, 15 January 1913.