Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Among the members of Hastings branch of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societiers was Mrs F C Tubbs.  In 1899 she was Secretary to the Local Examinations Board for Hastings, when she signed the Declaration in Favour of Women's Suffrage.

1909 - Hastings and St Leonards and East Sussex Women’s Suffrage Society at their newly opened depot at 29 Havelock Road (the Misses Barrow and Field milliners shop). The president was Mrs Colonel Tubbs.

In a big public meeting on Saturday 13 March, the Hastings and St Leonards Women’s Suffrage Society (formed in 1883) affiliated itself to the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.... Mrs Tubbs, the veteran president of the local society, was ill and apologised for her absence

Mrs Fanny Cecilia Tubbs donated a Challenge Shield to Musical Festival in 1915, to be competed for by mixed voice choirs, won that year by Hastings Madrigal Society & became known as St Cecilia Challenge Shield, still competed for up until at least 2009.

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 21 January 1922

The passing of an honoured and greatly beloved friend marks an epoch in one’s life and leaves a blank which one neither expects nor tries to fil.  It will be so to-day when numbers of those who reverenced her memory will gather together for the memorial service to Mrs. Tubbs, at St. John's Church, Upper St, Leonards, 11.30.

The passing of our friend means more to the town than many of its younger citizens can realise.  The place here that knew her will know her no more.  But for many a year to come the name of- Fanny Cecilia Tubbs will stand for what is noblest and best in the social and civic life this borough. On the numerous interests and varied activities of her life this necessarily brief sketch can barely touch… Mrs. Tubbs was not a native of Hastings, nor indeed was she born in England.  The eldest daughter of the late Charles William! Minet, Baldwyns, Dartford, she was born in Rome on Easter Sunday, April 3rd, 1831.  She married Colonel R. T. N. Tubbs, and after spending some little time abroad, the two settled in St. Leonards 1863, where Col. Tubbs died in 1891.

One might almost say that from the first moment of her residence here Mrs. Tubbs placed herself, her time, her talents and in great measure, her wealth, at the disposal of her fellow citizens…….. Keenly interested, too, she was in Poor Law work, and it was greatly due to her influence and exertions, coupled with those her friend, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, and warmly supported by several other progressive women in the town that the election of Miss Sara Mosley, the first woman to sit the Hastings Board of Guardians, was effected…… When the local branch the N.S.P.C.C. was formed in Hastings, in 1894, Mrs. Tubbs was one its most ardent supporters……….

The initial stage of the Y.W.C.A. work here also had the warm support of our friend….. In a word, like the immortal "Fired with dearest chant" she Was every ready to infuse her knowledge of good things into others, and to exhaust the stores of her intellect that others might enriched. She was indeed, at the service of almost every good cause, the fact of it being unpopular never causing her to flinch if she honestly believed it to right. Thus it was that she joined the Anti-Vivisectionists, and in the quite early days of the Women's Suffrage Movement, she attached herself to it with all the courage born her convictions, and after more than half century of hard and strenuous work in that "lonely" and uphill struggle” she lived to see the enfranchisement of the women of England and the opening of the door to their full citizenship, which she believed would give them a new outlook, the chance of fuller self-satisfaction and larger possibilities in life. Herself a loyal member the National Union of (N0n-Militant) Suffrage Societies she nevertheless refrained from any scathing of the Militants…….

One cannot enumerate the many Committees .which Mrs. Tubbs served, but the local welfare work, the Central AM Council, the various nursing institutions, the University Extension Association, the hospitals, as well as many other organisations claimed and secured her warm support.  At the outbreak of  the war in 1914, she was at the head of the small band of women suffragists who decided to suspend the fight for the vote and threw themselves into the work of succouring the refugees who flocked into our town.' The Suffrage Club was at once converted into Relief Bureau, and thither flocked the parties of unfortunate Belgians and others who sought the shelter England in their hour supreme distress. There they were clothed and homes provided for them.

Though a loyal churchwoman, Mrs Tubbs' sympathies were wide nd far reaching no the difference of religious views prevented her from working cordially with members of other denominations.  All good people were alike o her and her passing creates a loss.

See Minet Family

Fanny Cecilia Tubbs