Gertrude Ellen Brook (1885-1970)


Gertrude Ellen Brook — often referred to as Ellen Brook — was born in Wooldale on 26 February 1885, the daughter of master tailor Thomas Brook and his wife Martha (née Ellis).


Gertrude Ellen was a Suffragette and a member of the Huddersfield branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).

Following the failure of the second reading of Willoughby Dickinson's Bill on 8 March 1907, she was one of the delegates who travelled on 19 March to London to attend the demonstration and march on Parliament which was held the following day. She was one of several women from Huddersfield who were arrested during the repeated attempts to break through the police lines.[1] In court, she claimed that she had simply been "walking quietly along the pavement" when she was arrested, and questioned how that could be considered "disorderly conduct".[2] She was sentenced to 14 days in Holloway Prison.

The others who were arrested on 20 March were:

She was one of 50 women arrested on Tuesday 11 February 1908 for "disorder in the vicinity of the House of Commons", along with Mrs. Ann Alice Older of Honley.[3] Both were sent to Holloway Prison, but Mrs. Older soon fell ill and the WSPU took steps to secure her early release.[4]

Later Life

She married John McGuckin in May 1909 at Holmfirth and the couple had five children:

  • James Russell McGuckin (1909-1978)[5]
  • Alice McGuckin (1911-1990)[6]
  • Eileen McGuckin (1916-1992)[7]
  • Kathleen Joan McGuckin (1920-1989)[8]
  • Winifred McGuckin (1925-1925)[9]

Gertrude Ellen McGuckin died in 1970, aged 85, at Eton, Buckinghamshire.

Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. In newspaper reports, her surname is also given as "Brooke" and "Brooks".
  2. "The Suffragettes Raid" in Globe (21/Mar/1907).
  3. "The Suffragist Raid" in London Daily Telegraph & Courier (13/Feb/1908).
  4. "The Suffragists" in Hampshire Telegraph (22/Feb/1908).
  5. Born 22 October 1909. Married Isabella Wallace Nesbitt in 1934. Died in Kent.
  6. Born 19 June 1911. Married Victor Lewis in July 1936. Died in Peterborough.
  7. Born 12 August 1916. Married Herbert Walker Addyman in 1936. Died in Buckinghamshire.
  8. Born 12 March 1920. Died in Buckinghamshire.
  9. Born and died in Huddersfield.