Christmas card from Christabel Pankhurst to Jessie Kenney, 1954
The front depicts a cathedral with the subtitle “Christmas Blessings” and a star with the subtitle “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. The inside of the card reads: “On the birthday of Our Lord, May you know the joy and comfort of those who dwell safely within His abiding love.”
Christabel writes that the cathedral on the card reminds her of Notre Dame and their time in Paris during the final phase of the campaign for the vote. Christabel spent the last two years of the suffragette struggle exiled in Paris in order to evade the British authorities. During this time Annie and Grace Roe were left in charge of operations in London and Jessie worked as Christabel's secretary in Paris. Her thoughts go to Annie, who had passed away the previous year, and her son, Warwick, and husband, James. “The fine record she made as she passed through the world we can all be highly proud of. She fought a good fight and finished her course triumphantly.”
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[Transcript by Hazel Brain]
Transcript – KP/JK/3/Pankhurst,C./19
[Christmas Card which depicts a cathedral on one side with the subtitle “CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS” and a winter landscape with palm trees and a star with the subtitle “’I am the light of the world’ John 8:12. The other side reads “On the birthday of Our Lord, May you know the joy and comfort of those who dwell safely within His abiding love.”]
1007 Ocean Avenue
14th December 1954
This card reminds me just a little of Notre Dame, Paris and the time you were there with me in the final, decisive phase of our campaign for the vote. Let us always be
thankful that we were victorious. Our bloodless war ended in real victory, unlike the bloodshedding wars between nations especially world wars I and II which have, as it were, [tried] warfare [illegible words]. Now the only hope for world peace and freedom is not in human effort, but in divine deliverance.
I shall think of you on Christmas Day and your and my thoughts will turn to [beloved] Annie.
You miss her greatly, I know.
Warwick she has left
to represent her. How happy she must have been – and you also – that he has turned out so well – so much his mother’s son. Annie’s husband misses her too.
The fine record she made as she passed through the world we all can be highly proud of. She fought a good fight and finished her course triumphantly.
I have written a Christmas letter to our dear [illegible] secretary of WSPU [the Women’s Social and Political Union] days. She is living in the Villa Maria 1 Kloof Nek Rd [Road] Capetown S. [South] Africa. She likes to hear from us
[Vertical writing inserted between Pages 2 and 3]
I know. Much Christmas love and dear memories of our past Suffragette days and hope and [faith] for the future.