Lin Yueqin (L) and her husband, General Luo Ronghuan (R) [zgsc.china.com.cn]
Lin Yueqin (1914–2003), wife of Red Army General Luo Ronghuan (1902-1963), was the country's first female senior colonel.
In January 1914, Yueqin was born into a merchant's family in Jinzhai County, in east China's Anhui Province.
In 1927, her father, Lin Weiyin, joined the Communist Party of China (CPC). He opened a grocery store, which was actually a secret communication center for underground CPC members.
Under the influence of her father and her primary school principal, Zhan Gutang—one of the founders of the Jinzhai County CPC organization—Yueqin received anti-imperialist and anti-feudal education and dreamed that one day she could join the revolution and fight for impoverished people.
In May 1929, after the Shangnan Uprising, Yueqin took part in a number of parades. Due to the outstanding talent she demonstrated, the progressive teenager was appointed as instructor of the children's revolutionary union in her county.
In the meantime, she joined the Communist Youth League (CYL) of China, carrying out revolutionary work with great zeal.
In October 1929, she was named head of a children's bureau at a revolutionary base located at the boundary crossings of central China's Hubei Province, Henan Province and east China's Anhui Province.
At the post, she organized children CYL members to stand guard and safeguard security, making great contributions to the enhancement of the CPC's regime at the base.
Later, her father was mistakenly classified as a landlord—a capitalist. Not immune to the effects of such an incident, Yueqin was removed from her post at the children's bureau and was sent to a reform team to receive education through labor.
In the autumn of 1932, when the main forces of the Fourth Red Army began to transfer toward the Sichuan–Shaanxi Soviet area, the reform team was dismissed.
After being released, Yueqin insisted on going with the Red Army. Under her lead, a group of women with similar experience followed the troops, helping them cook meals, wash clothes, and tend to wounded soldiers.
After they reached southwest China's Sichuan Province, these women were incorporated as a detachment of the Fourth Red Army, under the charge of Yueqin.
In May 1937, she got married to Red Army General Luo Ronghuan.
In 1955, Yueqin was awarded the Senior Colonel title, becoming the only female to receive the honor at that time.
On November 22, 2003, Yueqin died of illness in Beijing, at the age of 90.
(Source: zgsc.china.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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