Annie Jane Hughes-Griffiths and the Welsh Women's Peace Petition

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Annie Jane was a peace activist who contributed greatly to the work of the Welsh League of Nations Union in the 1920s. Her first husband, MP Thomas Edward Ellis (1859-1899) died in the same year as their son, Thomas Iorwerth Ellis was born. T. I. Ellis (1899-1970) became a well-known academic, teacher and author. Annie Jane later married the Rev. Peter Hughes Griffiths (1871-1937).

In 1923, with the atrocities of the First World War still very much alive in people’s minds, an appeal was drawn up by the Welsh League of Nations Union on behalf of Welsh women, calling on the women of the United States of America in the name of world peace to persuade the country to join and lead the League of Nations, declaring: ‘We feel that the dawn of the Peace which shall endure would be hastened were it possible for America to take her place in the Council of the League of Nations.’

The sign up letter for the petition was distributed to every household in Wales. It was signed by 390,296 women, and in 1924 Annie Jane travelled to America with a deputation of women from Wales to present the ‘Memorial’ to the women of America. According to the account that was submitted to the Welsh League of Nation Union’s Annual Report for 1924 ‘Mrs Peter Hughes-Griffiths’ and Miss Eluned Prys sailed on the ‘Cedric’ steamer on 2nd of February. As the vessel began her journey the famous singer, Leila Megane, who was also travelling on board, began to sing ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’, with crowds joining in the chorus.

The Appeal was presented on the 19th of February.


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