A statue of the suffragette martyr Emily Davison has been unveiled in Epsom town centre after years of campaigning.

Residents, women's equality activists, politicians and descendants of Davison herself gathered on a bright Tuesday morning (June 8) in Epsom for the unveiling of a statue of the suffragette in the town’s marketplace.

The statue, designed by Surrey Artist Christine Charlesworth, was first conceived years ago to mark Davison as one of Epsom's most important historical figures and was unveiled on the 108th anniversary of her death.

Davison was a world-famous, militant suffragette activist who is considered a heroine of the women's movement. She died after being struck by George V's racehorse at Epsom Downs while campaigning for women's equality in 1913.

Leader of the British Women’s Equality Party, Mandu Reid, spoke to those gathered ahead of the unveiling.

"A woman whose life and courage, despite the brutality and ostracization that she endured, is an inspiration, a beacon, an example.

"A woman who refused to accept the status quo, a woman who railed and rebelled against it, a woman who made furious defiance part of her legacy, her gift to us.

"At a time when there is a concerted effort to diminish and reduce protest, when the backlash against women's rights is growing, it is profoundly significant that we have come together today to honour Emily and the revolutionary spirit that she embodied," she said.

The statue is the result of a campaign by the Emily Davison Memorial Project (EDMP), a group of volunteers in the Epsom area who have campaigned for years to raise funds for the statue.

EDMP Founder and Chair Sarah Dewing said on Tuesday: "It is time that Emily Wilding Davison is properly recognised for the part she played in bringing about the Governments’ decision to give women the right to vote.

"It is due to her sacrifice and that of many others that women today have equal rights in law and opportunities to fulfil their potential that Emily’s generation could only dream of."

The statue, which was draped in the green, white and purple colours of the suffragette movement prior to its unveiling, features a number of key details conceived by Charlesworth.

For example, her mouth shows signs of force-feeding enforced the British authorities at the time who broke several of her teeth and partially paralysed her jaw during the process while she was on hunger strike in prison.

The project was supported by Emily Davison’s descendants around the world, including Philippa Bilton, a first cousin three generations down of Emily who attended the ceremony to unveil the statue with two local schoolgirls.

"As the relative of Emily Wilding Davison and having spent the last 10 years following in her footsteps, it is with great pride and honour that I will be part of the unveiling celebrations of the Epsom statue of Emily," she said.

"With great effort and dedication from the Emily Davison Memorial Project, the statue has finally come to fruition. I know she will bring people to the town to interact with her in the marketplace.

"It is inspiring that Epsom has finally got a lasting memorial to Emily’s remarkable life. I am delighted and hope she is relished for years to come."

Click here for the Emily Davison Memorial Project or here to watch the unveiling in full.