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Adela Constantia Mary Pankhurst Walsh (1885-1961) was a British-Australian suffragette, political organizer, and co-founder of both the Communist Party of Australia and the Australia First Movement.

Adela was born on 19 June 1885 in Manchestermarker, Englandmarker, into a politicized family: her father, Richard Pankhurst was a socialist and candidate for Parliamentmarker, and her mother Emmeline Pankhurst and sisters Sylvia and Christabel were leaders of the British suffragist movement. Adela attended the all-woman Studley Horticultural Collegemarker in Warwickshire, and Manchester High School for Girlsmarker. As a teenager, Adela became involved in the militant Women's Social and Political Union founded by her mother and sisters.

Following estrangement from her family, Adela emigrated to Australia in 1914. She was recruited during World War I as an organiser for the Women's Peace Army in Melbournemarker by Vida Goldstein. Pankhurst wrote a book called Put Up the Sword and addressed public meetings on her opposition to the war and conscription. She married Tom Walsh of the Federated Seamen's Union of Australasia in 1917. In 1920, Pankhurst became a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia, from which she was later expelled.

She became disillusioned with communism and founded the anti-communist Australian Women's Guild of Empire in 1928. In 1941 Adela became one of the founding members of the right wing and nationalistic Australia First Movement. She visited Japan in 1939 and was arrested and interned in 1942 for her advocacy of peace with Japanmarker.

See also


  • Verna Coleman Adela Pankhurst: The Wayward Suffragette 1885-1961 Melbourne University Press, 1996
  • Joy Damousi, "The Enthusiasms of Adela Pankhurst Walsh", Australian Historical Studies, April 1993, pp.442-436
  • Anne Summers, "The Unwritten History of Adela Pankhurst Walsh", in Elizabeth Windschuttle (editor), Women, Class and History, Fontana / Collins, 1980, pp.388-402

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