Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Organisation

  • Trove

Women's Peace Army (1915 - 1919)

From
15 July 1915
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
To
18 December 1919
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupations
Social action organisation

Summary

The Women's Peace Army was established on 15 July 1915 at the offices of the Women's Political Association, in an attempt to mobilise the women in Australia who opposed all war, regardless of political party membership. It was to be a fighting body to destroy militarism 'with the same spirit of self-sacrifice that soldiers showed on the battlefield'. 'We war against war' was the motto of the Women's Peace Army. Their flag took the feminist colours of purple, green and white. The most well-known members were Vida Goldstein, president, Cecilia John and Adela Pankhurst. With autonomous branches in Sydney and Brisbane, the Women's Peace Army projected a radical, militant image with its socialist anti-war ideology and attracted large numbers to its sometimes controversial public meetings. Other tactics included participation in peace demonstrations, support for peace candidates at elections, petitions to members of parliament and practical help to those disadvantaged by war. It participated in the anti-conscription campaigns of 1916 and 1917. With the end of the Great War, the Women's Peace Army went into recess on 18 December 1919.

Sources used to compile this entry: Francis, Rosemary, 'Women in protest movements: the Women's Peace Army and the Save Our Sons Movement.', Hons thesis, The University of Melbourne, 1984; The Woman Voter, 15 July 1915, p.2.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Leslie Moira Henderson, 1880 - 1961, MS 1444; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of various Australian women, MS 842; Rapke, Julia; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Vida Goldstein 1869-1949., 1966, MS 1637; Henderson, Leslie; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Vida Goldstein, BIOG; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • The Goldstein chronicle, c. 1950 - c. 1973; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • Letters, diaries and lectures, 1902 - 1919; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • Press cuttings book presented to Edith How Martyn., 1943; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0542b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License