To the working class of Liverpool she was “our Bessie”, but to the media she was “Battling Bessie”. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Braddock campaigned tirelessly, and without restraint, to improve conditions for her home city’s under-privileged. Yet, it is not her work for mental health reforms, the barrow girls or prison conditions for which she is most famously remembered; instead it is her larger-than-life political tactics and frequent clashes with the press. Whilst growing up, she was exposed to the inequality and poverty of the city from an early age. Her mother, Mary Bamber, was committed to social reform and to helping the poor of Liverpool. At three weeks old, Bessie was taken by her mother to her first political meeting; in her autobiography, 'The Braddocks', Bessie recalls helping her mother on the soup lines in Liverpool:
“I remember the faces of the unemployed when the soup ran out. I remember their dull eyes and their thin, blue lips. I remember blank, hopeless stares, day after day, week after week, all through the hard winter of 1906-7, when I was seven years old. I saw the unemployed all over Liverpool.
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