Women’s History Month

Friend of the Cemetery Brenda Simson has discovered that the grave of a remarkable Frenchwoman – Jeanne Deroin – is in Margravine Cemetery. Sadly, her grave is unmarked and she remains largely unrecognised for her pioneering work in the fight for social justice in the 19th Century.

The Friends of Margravine Cemetery have won a £500 grant from LBHF (The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham) towards a fund to pay for a suitable headstone to commemorate her.  Bren Simson and Sarah Taylor, with the support of the Friends’ committee and the William Morris Society, prepared the successful application to the LBHF fund created to mark Women’s History Month.

Jeanne Deroin was born in France and was an active feminist and socialist republican – being the first woman to stand for election (even though women weren’t eligible to do so!). After her forced exile she came to live in Hammersmith. She and her daughter, Cecile Desroches, who is buried beside her, were members of William Morris’s Socialist Federation. Despite her poverty Jeanne continued to write and campaign for women’s rights and social justice until her death in 1894.

A suitable headstone is estimated to be in the region of £1,400.