- Pacifist, Feminist, Political activist and Suffragist
- Alternative Names
- Walsh, Adela Pankhurst (married name)
Adela Pankhurst was a feminist and pacifist whose political affiliations shifted from communism to strong anti-communism over her lifetime of activism. Born in England, the daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, Adela was involved with the British suffrage movement from her teenage years and then the Women's Social and Political Union which was founded by her mother and sisters in 1904. She later became estranged from her family and moved to Melbourne in 1914 partly for health reasons. Once there she worked with Vida Goldstein and the Women's Political Association and campaigned against conscription particularly with the Women's Peace Army. She also joined the Victorian Socialist Party. She married Tom Walsh, a fellow anti-conscriptionist, in 1917. After the war they moved to Sydney and had five children. They were foundation members of the Communist Party of Australia, but soon withdrew. Adela's evolving anti-communism became starkly apparent when, in 1928, she founded the Australian Women's Guild of Empire. Pankhurst used this conservative patriotic organisation as a platform to advocate the need for industrial cooperation, and she frequently spoke out against strikes. She ended her public life in 1943 with her husband's death.