CURRENTLY IN LONDON THERE ARE: 265 depict historical figures, of which 17 are of women
ABOUT STATUES IN LONDON
London is a diverse city, with a diverse art scene. However it doesn’t fair well in the gender equality of statues! Although there is no clear list of statues in London, it is estimated that around the 265 depict historical figures, of which 17 are of women. The percentage of women’s statues in the UK that aren’t mythical or royal is approximately 3%, with more statues of statues named John dotted around the country than of women! This puts London, at 6%, double the national average. Some examples of statues of women in London include Virginia Woolfe, Ada Salter, Sarah Siddons, Noor Inyat Khan, Mary Seacole, Louisa Blake and most recently, Millicent Fawcett.
CURRENT STATUES OF WOMEN IN LONDON
Ada Salter was an English social reformer, environmentalist, pacifist and Quaker, President of the Women's Labour League and President of the National Gardens Guild. She was one of the first women councillors in London, and was the first woman to be elected as a mayor in London. Her statue is part of the work ‘Dr Salters Daydream’ by Diane Gorvin which depicts the whole Salter family, including daughter Joyce who sadly contracted Scarlett Fever and died aged 8. The statues can be found at Bermondsey Wall East, Cherry Gardens.
Noor Inyat Khan
Noor Inyat Khan was a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Her work became crucial to the war effort, helping airmen escape and allowing important deliveries to come in. Towards the end of the war, she was betrayed, arrested and eventually executed by the Gestapo. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross and a French Croix de Guerre with silver star. Her bust can be found at Gordon Square Gardens.
Dr. Louisa Blake was one of the first British women to enter the world of medicine. She was an esteemed and respected Doctor during World War 1 and as dean of the London School of Medicine For Women, she also worked tirelessly to encourage fellow women to take up the profession. Her bust can be found at Tavistock Square
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican born pioneering nurse and heroine of the Crimean War, who as a woman of mixed race overcame a double prejudice. Seacole travelled to England again, and approached the War Office, asking to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimea where there was known to be poor medical facilities for wounded soldiers. She was refused and so raised her own funds to enable her trip to Crimea where she established the war hospital ’The British Hotel’ Often overshadowed in the history books by the work of Florence Nightingale, she was a well loved nurse and was given the nickname ‘Mother Seacole’. Her statue was opposed by the head of The Nightingale Society who claimed the depiction of Seacole would damage the memory of Florence Nightingale. Thankfully the statue went ahead and both women are able to be celebrated in their own right for their own individual work! Her statue can be found outside St Thomas’ Hospital, Lambeth