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Grace Peebles (?–?)

by A. Johnson

This article was published:

Grace Peebles (?-?) social activist, trade unionist and Communist

Birth: details unknown. Marriage: (1) reputedly to Nick Peebles details unknown. (2) publicly ‘married’ fellow comrade Robert Shayler in a “Red wedding” before Communist general secretary Herbert Moxon on 12 January 1930. Death: details unknown. 

  • Lived at Balmain. Worked as waitress, cook, and general domestic.
  • Communist Party of Australia member and activist from late 1920s. From 1928 wrote letters regularly to CPA's Workers Weekly and Working Woman.
  • Active in Militant Women's Group, Sydney, during 1929 timber workers strike. Sacked from domestic job for refusing to accept a delivery of black timber. Arrested on picket line and successfully defended herself against charge of offensive behaviour.
  • Also lobbied unemployed men at Sydney Free Labour Exchange against taking jobs of striking miners on Northern coalfields.
  • In 1930 was delegate to Unemployed Workers Movement's (UWM) State conference. One of two women elected to the UWM executive.
  • Disrupted meeting of Advisory Committee of Unemployed Relief Fund attended by Governor at Sydney Town Hall.
  • With Joy Barrington, Jean and Patricia Devanny and others, was arrested during mass demonstration in Macquarie Street. Convicted and imprisoned in Long Bay jail, where she undertook a hunger strike.
  • Subsequently was active in Hotel, Club and Restaurant Employees Union, with husband (?). Was on union's executive by mid-1930s.

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Citation details

A. Johnson, 'Peebles, Grace (?–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012