Adela Pankhurst, the youngest daughter of Dr. Richard Pankhurst and Emmeline Pankhurst, was born in Manchester in June 1885. She had two older sisters, Christabel Pankhurst and Sylvia Pankhurst. According to Fran Abrams: "There was no great novelty to the addition of a third girl to the existing brood, and in any case this child was a sickly creature. She had weak legs and bad lungs, and for a time was not expected to live." Adela was forced to wear splints on her legs and did not learn to walk until she was three. Adela later recalled how her father played an important role in her education: "I think I was only about six when my father - a most revered person in my existence - assured me there was no God." She was happy at her first school in Southport but did not like her experience at Manchester Girls' High School. On one occasion she tried to run away from school and home. Adela was a bright student and her teachers suggested that she should apply for an Oxford University scholarship. Emmeline Pankhurst was against the idea but the plan was only abandoned after she caught scarlet fever in 1901. Her mother sent her to Switzerland and when Adela returned to Manchester she was determined to become a teacher. Although her mother objected as she saw it as a "working-class occupation" by 1903 was working as a pupil-teacher at an elementary school in Urmston. Adela Pankhurst was given the task of disturbing meetings held by Winston Churchill. Another member of the WSPU, Hannah Mitchell, was with her when she was arrested while disrupting one of Churchill's political meeting: "I followed Adela who was in the grip of a big burly officer who kept telling her she ought to be smacked and set to work at the wash tubs. She grew so angry that she slapped his hand, which was as big as a ham." Adela was found guilty of assaulting a policeman. She refused to pay and was sent to Strangeways prison for seven days.