Search

Tributes flood in as ‘tireless campaigner’ Hetty Bower dies aged 108

PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 November 2013

Hetty Bower and daughter Margie Dolan marching to stop the Whittington Hospital sell-off in March this year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Hetty Bower and daughter Margie Dolan marching to stop the Whittington Hospital sell-off in March this year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Hundreds of tributes from the community and prominent politicians, including Labour leader Ed Miliband, have poured in for peace campaigner Hetty Bower, who has died aged 108.

Hetty Bower talks with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Labour leader Ed Miliband on International Women's Day in 2011. Picture: Clive Gee Hetty Bower talks with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Labour leader Ed Miliband on International Women's Day in 2011. Picture: Clive Gee

Mrs Bower, who joined the march to save The Whittington Hospital earlier this year, passed away at the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, Shirley Franklin, said Mrs Bower, of Highgate, was “a tireless trooper” and that “her brain was always with her heart”.

“She was a tireless campaigner for what she believed in and she lived by her principles. She was a totally admirable woman.

“She really was an activist right up until the end. We are so proud to have had her in our campaign. It is terribly sad but I’m so glad that she had good innings.”

Mrs Bower, who lived at the Mary Feilding Guild residential home in North Hill, signed up to the Labour Party aged just 17 and tirelessly marched on the streets for causes close to her heart throughout her life.

She joined the fight against controversial plans to sell off a third of the Whittington Hospital’s buildings in March, determinedly marching in the rain to show support for her local hospital in Magdala Avenue, Highgate.

Before the march, backed by the Ham&High and organised by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, she said: “I’m not going to throw stones at windows or damage the building but I will protest as far as my legs can carry me.”

It was a mantra she lived by during her many years of peaceful activism.

Dartmouth Park resident and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband also paid his respects, tweeting late on Tuesday: “Really sad to hear of death of Hetty Bower at 108. Suffragette, Labour member (first joined 90 years ago), remarkable fighter for justice.”

Born in 1905, Mrs Bower’s anti-war convictions were sparked by wounded men returning from the First World War and the peace campaigner went on to join many anti-war demonstrations.

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party and candidate for the Holborn and St Pancras seat at the next general election, also took to Twitter on Tuesday to pay her respects.

The Somers Town resident said: “Very sad to hear of the death of campaigner Hetty Bower, aged 108. I last saw her at London Hiroshima Day commemoration.”

The former suffragette met Ed Miliband on the 100th International Women’s Day in 2011, the year she was named woman of the year by The Guardian.

Last month, she met the MP again at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, where she made a passionate speech against government cuts.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper also paid tribute to Mrs Bower, tweeting: “Sad news that the wonderful Hetty Bower has died at 108. Met her on 100th International Womens Day, talked about suffragettes she remembered”.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Detectives have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a rape in Camden.

21 minutes ago

A Camden ‘big assembly’ scheduled to take place this afternoon in response to funding education cuts has been cancelled in the wake of last night’s attack in Manchester.

Yesterday, 18:05

The English Democrats candidate for Holborn and St Pancras wants to give England its own parliament, “properly” celebrate St George’s Day and open a 24/7 NHS animal hospital.

Yesterday, 16:21

An independent candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn has devoted his campaign to pushing for a “smarter Brexit”.

Yesterday, 12:31

Camden and Haringey parents are descending on parks this week for protest picnics and assemblies against school funding cuts.

Yesterday, 12:04

A leading violinist has spoken of her “huge relief” at being reunited with her 317-year-old violin, just in time for her performance at the Belsize Music Festival.

Yesterday, 11:11

The Department of Health’s data sharing guardian believes the transfer of 1.6million patient records was not ‘legally appropriate’.

Yesterday, 10:03

A 17-year-old moped rider was rushed to hospital after a police chase resulted in a crash in East Finchley.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now