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Lillie Mabel (Lil) Lee (1894–1968)

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Lillie Mabel May Lee, later Smith, also known as Lil or Lilly (1894-1968) dressmaker and political activist

Birth: 20 December 1894 at Grenfell, New South Wales, daughter of Charles Edwin Lee (1856-1952), farmer, and Mary Katherine, née Thirlwall (1861-1943). Both parents had been born in Victoria. Marriage: 1957 at Ashfield, Sydney, to John Douglas Smith (1899-1974), a deckhand, born at Paddington, Sydney. Death: 28 April 1968 in hospital at Marrickville, Sydney, usual residence Old Canterbury Road, Lewisham, Sydney. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Came from “a family that has been solidly attached to the Labor Party since its inception’.
  • Secretary of Grenfell Labor League for five years. Also secretary of the local Anti-Conscription League, she was presented by the people of Grenfell with a pendant for her work against conscription.
  • Moved to Cootamundra. Was assistant secretary of Cootamundra Labor League from 1923 for many years. Campaigned for Greg McGirr, Peter Loughlin (when Labor), Parker Moloney and H. P. (Bert) Lazzarini.
  • Appointed justice of the peace in November 1925.
  • Delegate to ALP conferences. Member of Australian Labor Party executive 1927 and 1928-1929.
  • Her only brother Charles Henry Isaac Lee (1887-1935), fettler, was killed by a train in a railway tunnel in Sydney in January 1935.
  • In 1936 she moved to Sydney to reside with her sister and parents in Lewisham, where she lived for the rest of her life.
  • Cause of death: myocardial infarction, coronary sclerosis and congestive cardiac failure.

Information from Sue Tracey 1997.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Lee, Lillie Mabel (Lil) (1894–1968)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Smith, Lille Mabel
  • Lee, Lilly

20 December, 1894
Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia


28 April, 1968 (aged 73)
Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Political Activism