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Joan Beauchamp (1890 – 1964) was a prominent anti-World War I campaigner, suffragette and co-founder of the Communist Party of Great Britain.



She was born in 1890 into a farming family in Midsomer Norton in Somerset. She was the sister of Kay Beauchamp, who went on to become a fellow founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. [1]

Early Adult Life

During the First World War, Joan became active in the No Conscription Fellowship (NCF). The NCF was established to help and give advice to the estimated 16,000 pacifists and socialists who refused to join the military and fight. In 1920 she received a ten-day prison sentence for her anti-war activities.

She was one of the founders and a lifelong member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and an associate of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst. She was regarded as one of the suffragette movement’s most militant members. [2]

She was one of the first women graduates of the University of London. She married Harry Thompson, a lawyer and colleague from her time in NCF. They had a son in 1924, Robin Thompson, who went on to become a notable trade union lawyer. [3]

Later life

Joan went on to be a journalist in London. During the Second World War she received severe injuries from a German flying bomb.

She provided support to her husband’s law firm which today is probably the largest catering only for trade unions and their members. She died in 1964. [4]


See also



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