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Alice Marcia Reardon (1889–1965)

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This entry is from People Australia

Alice Marcia Reardon (1889-1965) socialist and communist activist 

Birth: October 1889 at Crossgate, Durham, England. Daughter of Henry James Carpenter (1849-1899), astronomer, and Ann Jane, née Rippington. (1868-1904). Marriage: 12 March 1910 at the Registry Office, Nottingham, England, to Arthur Silvey Reardon, blacksmith and socialist. They had one daughter. Death: 29 April 1965 in Glebe, Sydney, New South Wales. No religion. 

  • Arrived in Melbourne 1913 on the Otway with her husband and their daughter. They moved to Sydney about 1915.
  • Member, with her husband, of the Sydney branch of the Australian Socialist Party (ASP). Sometime branch secretary during World War I. Member ASP General Executive. Regular speaker at the Domain & prolific contributor to ASP paper the International Socialist, her articles being described by government censor as 'vicious and inflammatory'. Active in ASP's anti-conscription campaigns during 1916 & 1917. Major organiser of defence committee established 1918 to agitate for the release of the American union organiser Tom Mooney.
  • Exponent of One Big Union ideology.
  • Outspoken critic of contemporary feminists, arguing that revolutionary class struggle should take precedence over matters of women's rights & perceiving many feminist initiatives as inimical to working class interests.
  • With her husband, she sought to have the ASP recognised by the Comintern as the legitimate parent of the proposed Communist Party of Australia. In 1920, with her husband, she was elected a member of the provisional executive of the newly-formed Communist Party of Australia, becoming a trustee and (1921) acting secretary.
  • With her husband, she ceased involvement in radical politics after the defeat of ASP activists in 1922 by 'Trades Hall group' led by William Paisley Earsman and Jock Garden.
  • Died of cerebral haemorrhage.

Joy Damousi, Socialist Women in Australia, c.1890-c.1918, PhD thesis, ANU, 1987.

Citation details

'Reardon, Alice Marcia (1889–1965)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Carpenter, Alice Marcia

October, 1889
Crossgate, Durham, England


29 April, 1965 (aged 75)
Glebe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Political Activism