Alice Ker

Alice Ker, the eldest of nine children of Edward Stewart Ker, a Free Church minister in Banffshire. She qualified as a doctor as a licentiate of the King's and Queen's College of Physicians in Dublin. She was the thirteenth woman to be included on the British Medical Register.

In 1883 Alice Ker was a medical officer in the Mill Street Dispensary in Leeds and in 1888 married her cousin Edward Ker. The couple settled in Birkenhead where she became a general medical practitioner and over the next couple of years she had two daughters. She also worked at the Wirral Hospital for Sick Children. In 1891 she published Motherhood: A Book for Every Woman. Ker was a supporter of women's suffrage and in 1893 she established the Birkenhead and Wirral Women's Suffrage Society.

Edward Ker died in 1907. Soon afterwards she joined the Women's Social and Political Union. In November 1909 Constance Lytton stayed at her home after making a speech in Liverpool. In June 1911 she took part in the WSPU Coronation Procession.

On 4th March, 1912, the WSPU organised another window-breaking demonstration. This time the target was government offices in Whitehall. According to Votes for Women: "From in front, behind, from every side it came - a hammering, crashing, splintering sound unheard in the annals of shopping... At the windows excited crowds collected, shouting, gesticulating. At the centre of each crowd stood a woman, pale, calm and silent."

Over 200 suffragettes were arrested and jailed for taking part in the demonstration. This included Alice Ker who was sentenced to three months imprisonment in Holloway Prison, but was released early on 10th May, having becoming very ill after being force-fed while on hunger-strike.

Alice Ker continued to work as a doctor although after her imprisonment she was asked to resign from her local hospital. In 1914 she moved from Birkenhead to Liverpool. A pacifist, during the First World War she joined the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. After the war she worked as a doctor in Golders Green. During the Second World War she moved to Finchley.

Alice Ker died in 1953.