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Monday, 18 October 2010

Margaret Haig Thomas and Helen Archdale

In 1901 Russel married Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Montgomery Archdale, who was stationed in India. Over the next few years she gave birth to two sons and a daughter.

On her return to England she joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). On 9th October 1909 she took part in a WSPU demonstration in Edinburgh. Later that month Helen Archdale was arrested with Adela Pankhurst and Maud Joachim in Dundee after interrupting a meeting being held by the local MP, Winston Churchill. On 20th October all three women went on hunger strike. They were all released after four days of imprisonment.

After leaving her husband Archdale began a relationship with Margaret Haig Thomas. According to her biographer, David Doughan: "Helen Archdale had an intense relationship with Lady Rhondda, which seems to have begun in committee work during the First World War, though they also shared a background in suffrage militancy. By the early 1920s, she was sharing an apartment, and, together with her family, a country house (Stonepits, Kent) with Lady Rhondda."

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