#OTD 23 May 1923: the Aberystwyth Conference of Women for World Peace

#OnThisDay #OTD On 23 May 2023, activists and academics alike will gather at the Department of International Politics in Aberystwyth, for the launch of ‘Hawlio Heddwch’ – the women’s peace appeal centenary project – on the very centenary day of the original event which initiated the Women’s Peace Campaign to America of 1923.

The ‘conference of women’ of 23 May 1923 took part as part of the Welsh League of Nations Union (WLNU) Annual Conference over Whit Week May 21-23 1923, which comprised 7 individual public events over 3 days in the West Wales University town. The full week’s programme, with the Women’s Conference at its heart, is explored below.

The ‘Women of Wales’ Public Conference

The public conference on ‘The Women of Wales and World Peace’ took place from 2.30pm-6pm on Tuesday 23 May 1923, in the University College buildings, then on the Seafront. The gathering was presided over by Mrs Peter (Annie) Hughes Griffiths as chair of the WLNU, opening addresses were offered from Sydney Herbert and Rev Gwilym Davies. A resolution proposing the Women’s Peace Appeal campaign was proposed by leading women from Aberdare, Port Dinorwic and Swansea, and an organising committee of 20 women appointed to carry out the campaign.

View Women’s Agenda on People’s Collection Wales

View Newspaper reports of proceedings on People’s Collection Wales.

These report clippings from the WLNU’s archives offer an insight into the proceedings. It is unclear which newspaper the press clippings originate from, although they were gathered for the purposes of the WLNU’s reporting.

The Welsh League of Nations Union ‘Whit Week’ of 1923

Held over 3 days of Whitsuntide week, 21-23 May 1923, the Welsh League of Nations Union (WLNU) 2nd annual conference comprised a programme of 7 individual events / sessions, many of individual significance in their own right. Most notably, the public conference “Women of Wales and World Peace” on Wed 23 May initiated and established the Welsh Women’s Peace Appeal to America, ultimately signed by 390,296 women.

As well as the WLNU’s organisational business, motions and coordination among local branches Wales-wide, public meetings were held on the role of churches, music, workers and the International Labour Organisation, and representation to the League of Nations itself in Geneva. Entertainment centrepiece was an ‘International Rally’ of world music, directed by the eminent Walford Davies.

View WLNU agenda on People’s Collection Wales

View minutes of the 1923 conference, within WLNU’s 1924 AGM notes.

An ‘International Rally’ of Music and Culture led by Walford Davies

Held as part of the whit-week annual conference of the Welsh League of Nations Union (WLNU), this ‘International Rally’ of world music directed by the eminent Sir Walford Davies featured music, song, costume and patriotic addresses representing 12 nations / races. This high profile entertainment event in College Hall was organised by a joint committee between the WLNU and the Celtic Society.

View on People’s Collection Wales

The search for Hidden Histories – can you contribute?

Hawlio Heddwch is appealing to participants Wales-wide to assist in the search for archival materials, pictures, press cuttings and even attics finds across the nation, to help piece together the story of the 1923-24 Peace Campaign. Can you contribute? If you come acro0ss items which couold be added to this resourdces page, please forward to WalesforPeace@wcia.org.uk.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *