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(Reginald) Clifford Allen, Baron Allen of Hurtwood (1889–1939) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allen, (Reginald) Clifford, Baron Allen of Hurtwood (1889–1939), politician and peace campaigner, was born at St Olave's, Slow Park, Newport, Monmouthshire, on 9 May 1889. As an adult he was always known as Clifford Allen, or by close friends as CA. He had a brother, ...

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Aveling, Edward Bibbens (1849–1898), Marxist campaigner, was born on 29 November 1849 at 6 Nelson Terrace, Stoke Newington, the fifth of eight children of Thomas William Baxter Aveling (1815–1884), Congregationalist minister, and his wife, Mary Ann (d. 1877), daughter of Thomas Goodall...

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Baume, Pierre Henri Joseph (1797–1875), radical activist and eccentric, was born at Marseilles on 17 October 1797, the son of Henri Joseph Baume (1770–1831) and Marie Claire Antoinette Merlat (1780–1837). His parents ran a wig-making shop and were inclined both to anti-clericalism and adultery. When he was still young his father moved to ...

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Bax, Ernest Belfort (1854–1926), Marxist theoretician and activist, was born at his parents' home, 27 Clarendon Square, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on 23 July 1854, the last of four children of Daniel Bax (d. 1882), a manufacturer, and his wife, Eleanor, daughter of ...

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Reginald Birch (1914–1994) by Harrison © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Birch [formerly Catlin-Birch], Reginald (1914–1994), trade unionist and political activist, was born Reginald Catlin-Birch on 7 June 1914 at 4 Chichester Terrace, Kilburn, London, one of the five children of Charles Catlin-Birch (d. 1928), house painter and builder, and his wife, ...

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Clementina Maria Black (1853–1922) by unknown photographer, pubd 1912 The Women's Library, London Metropolitan University

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Black, Clementina Maria (1853–1922), political activist, suffragist, and writer, was born on 27 July 1853 in Brighton, the eldest girl in the family of five daughters and three sons of David Black, solicitor, town clerk, and coroner of Brighton, and his wife, Clara Maria (1825–1875)...

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Blease, (Walter) Lyon (1884–1963), barrister and civic activist, was born on 30 May 1884 at 5 Beech Street, Fairfield, Liverpool, the second son and second of three children of Walter Blease (c.1853–1940), chartered accountant, and his wife, Mary Cecilia (d...

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Browne, Felicia Mary (1904–1936), artist and political activist, was born at The Elms, Weston Green, Thames Ditton, Surrey, on 18 February 1904, the third daughter and the fourth of five children of Harold Browne (1875–1924), company director, who worked in his family's advertising agency, and his wife, ...

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John Chilembwe (c. 1870–1915) by unknown photographer [with members of his family] © reserved / London Library

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Chilembwe, John (c. 1870–1915), Baptist minister and anti-colonial rebel, was probably born at Sangano, Chiradzulu, in modern Malawi, of a Yao father (reportedly called Kaundama), and a Mang'anja or Cewa slave mother (reportedly called Nyangu). Very little is known of his early life. He acquired a basic knowledge of English from one of the earliest outposts of Scottish Presbyterian missionaries. In 1892 he became ‘cook boy’ to the recently arrived independent English missionary ...

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Cole [née Postgate], Dame Margaret Isabel (1893–1980), political activist and author, was born in Cambridge on 6 May 1893, the eldest in the family of two daughters and four sons of John Percival Postgate (1853–1926), fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and later professor of Latin at the ...

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Cook, Ida [pseud. Mary Burchell] (1904–1986), author and campaigner for Jewish refugees, was born on 24 August 1904 at 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, the second of four children of William James Cook (1865–1959), surveyor of customs and excise, and his wife, Mary, ...

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See Cook, Ida [pseud. Mary Burchell]

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Dash, Jack O'Brien (1907–1989), political activist and unofficial dockers' leader, was born on 23 April 1907 in Southwark, south London, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Thomas Dash, a stagehand, and his wife, Rose Gertrude Johns, an actor. According to Dash's own account, his upbringing was one of great material hardship. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven and his father, who then had an even greater struggle to support the family, also died of a lung complaint a few years later. After an elementary schooling, his skill at drawing led to a trial period with an engraving firm, but pressure to take home a better wage resulted in a series of menial jobs, starting in a ...

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Davies, David Richard (1889–1958), writer, political agitator, and minister of religion, was born at Pontycymer, Glamorgan, on 19 February 1889, the son of Richard Davies and his wife, Hannah. He was the youngest of four children. His father had been a miner, but had broken his back in a colliery accident before ...

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Margaret Doreen Duff (1910–1981) by Chris Ware, 1961 Getty Images

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Duff [née Eames], Margaret Doreen [Peggy] (1910–1981), political activist, was born at 51 Wolseley Gardens, Chiswick, Middlesex, on 8 February 1910, the elder daughter and middle child of Frank Eames, stockbrokers' clerk, organist, and later secretary of the Incorporated Society of Musicians...