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Council to commemorate historic anniversaries

Published Tuesday 6 February 2018

Two major events from history are to be commemorated locally as part of their 100th anniversary.

Harborough District Council is looking for ways to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, as well as the anniversary of 1918 Representation of the People Act which, for the first time, gave women the right to vote.

Cllr Neil Bannister, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “The significance of these hugely important events should not be undervalued and we are open to discussions to find appropriate and fitting ways to mark these occasions locally.” 

World War One lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including people from the Harborough district, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war.

The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament – passed on 6 February 1918 – to reform the electoral system in Great Britain and Ireland. The act was the first to include practically all men in the political system and began the inclusion of women, tripling the electorate and extending the right to vote for 5.6 million men and 8.4 million women.

The Representation of the People Act 1918 widened the right to vote by abolishing practically all property qualifications for men (which had restricted many men’s right to vote) and – for the first time – granting the right to vote to women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The breakthrough for women’s suffrage was accepted as recognition of the contribution made by women defence workers. However, women were still not politically equal to men (who could vote from the age of 21); full electoral equality did not occur until the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928.

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