Sisters travel from Australia to clear the name of Great-Grandmother

Alice Wheeldon Credit: ITV Central

People will go a long way to put right a wrong. In Chloe and Deirdre Mason's case - 10,000 miles.

According to the history books, their great-grandmother Alice Wheeldon tried to kill the Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

An injustice they say has stained the family name ever since.

"We know that it affected our Dad, in his growing up and they had to keep moving house, because of the reputation went before them". "I think it's a lesson for the world to know, governments make mistakes and people are injured and they need to be righted and I think our family fits into that".

In the First World War Alice Wheeldon ran a second-hand shop on the Peartree Road in Derby.

Alice and her family were Marxist vegetarians who supported the suffragettes and anti-war movement.

Their radical beliefs brought them to the attention of MI5.

In January 1917, Alice, her daughters Winnie and Hetty and her son-in-law Alf were arrested and charged with plotting to poison the PM.

At the trial, all but Hetty were found guilty and jailed - Alice for ten years.

Historian Dr Nick Hiley has studied the case - in particular the agent William Rickard who investigated the family.

He was a convicted blackmailer and a fantasist who'd been declared criminally insane.

The entire plot, it's claimed, was an MI5 fabrication.

"In some ways it had the air of a show trial sending a warning to the left and to conscientious objectors and to protesters against the war of all sorts. The prosecution case falls apart at every point that it can be tested, I don't think there's any doubt anymore that Alice was innocent".

Alice Wheeldon was released from prison after nine months after going on hunger strike.

The authorities feared she could become a martyr.

Just over a year later, she died from influenza.

Alice Wheeldon was buried at Nottingham Road cemetery in the grave of her sister, Elizabeth Gossage, it's thought the authorities wouldn't allow her, her own grave stone in case it became defaced.

Now almost a century on, her family's wish is that one day she'll be regarded as a heroine and not a pariah in her home city.

"I think for them to acknowledge the wrong so that the public knows, so that the world knows that they were wrong I think is very important and that needs to be achieved by this campaign".

The sisters would love that to be achieved by 2017, the hundredth anniversary of the case.

For now, they'll keep coming back year after year until their great-grandmother is proved innocent.