top of page

With All Her Might;

 the life of Gertrude Hard​ing, Militant Suffragette

Author Gretchen [Wilson] Kelbaugh's comments:

Writing this biography of an unknown Canadian heroine has been especially rewarding to me because Gert Harding was my great-aunt. I grew up on stories about Auntie Gert's exploits, and I remember visiting her on occasion until she died in 1977, when I was 21. Lucky for me, she gave her scrapbook of typed memoirs, sketches and photographs to my mother, who gave it to me, after I became a writer. Gertrude Harding and the other Militant Suffragettes were heroines whose courage has been ignored by history books, but I'm sure that women around the world will be inspired to read of their exciting fight for the female vote. Each generation should hear their story.

Gert was raised on a dairy farm in New Brunswick, Canada in the 1890's. She happened to land in the right place, London, England, at the right time, 1912, to seize the opportunity to join the world's most radical group of women fighting for a woman's cause - the WSPU - and to do so at the very height of its militancy.

Gert's first big 'job' was to stage a midnight attack on rare orchids at Kew Gardens. Later, she worked on the underground newspaper, The Suffragette; she was private secretary to Christabel Pankhurst, the brains of the organization; and she headed up the secret bodyguard of women assigned to protect their leader, Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, from constant rearrest by Scotland Yard.

After the partial vote was won in 1918, Gert spent the rest of her life in New Jersey as an early Social Worker and social activist. The biography includes the memoirs, sketches and photographs from her scrapbook.

For much more info on Gert Harding, go to:

Buy the book

Critical Acclaim

 "The next time you hear a woman apologetically say, 'I'm a feminist, but...', give her this book. Feminists are no longer arrested, pelted with rotten fruit or incited to blow up public monuments. For that, thank women like Gert Harding."

             Heather Robertson, The Globe and Mail

"Most intriguing is the juxtaposition of Harding's personal perspective with Wilson's concise, clearly written history of women's increasingly desperate, unprecedented push for the vote in Great Britain.

             Publishers Weekly

"Wilson's first book, from one of Canada's oldest small presses, deserves a standing ovation."

             The Ottawa Citizen

"Wilson has written a good book about the life and times of Gertrude Harding...Wilson has employed a clever technique in presenting Gertrude Harding's own memoirs, which permits Gertrude to tell her own story, so far as possible. Extensive quotation from other major figures is also effective: it completes the reader's understanding of  Gertrude Harding."

            Gillian Thompson, "The New Brunswick Reader"

"Sometimes it seems as if all the good stories have been told. The recent biography of Gertrude Harding...proves, however that our past still holds many narrative treasures."

           Atlantic Books Today

"An excellent biography.... Harding's own writing is lively and full of humour; Wilson manages to fill in the historical context without ever losing sight of the flow of the narrative."

          Maria Kubacki's "Top 10 Books; Some of the best are right here in Canada"

"With All Her Might is a fascinating story and Gert Harding is a fascinating heroine."

         The Daily Gleaner

"With All Her Might is far from just another feminist biography. For readers wanting to expand their knowledge of 20th century politics and social history, it's a great read and a keeper as an excellent reference book."

          The Chronical-Herald/The Mail-Star

bottom of page