Gao Tianbo: The First Female Communist in S China's Guangdong

July 5, 2018
Editor: Liu Yanmei
Gao Tianbo: The First Female Communist in South China's Guangdong
Gao Tianbo [Xinhua]


Gao Tianbo was born in Huiyang County, south China's Guangdong Province, in 1898.

At the age of 17, she was admitted to Guangzhou Maternity School for Women and Children.

In 1919, Gao participated in the May 4th Movement in Guangdong, and later joined the Chinese Socialist Youth League in 1923.

In the spring of 1924, she joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) and became the first female Party member in Guangdong Province.

During the first cooperation between the Kuomintang of China (KMT) and CPC, Gao served as the officer of the Central Women's Department of the KMT and became the assistant to He Xiangning, the former Minister of Women.

In July 1924, Gao participated in the first peasant movement study group hosted by Peng Pai, the director of the study group.

After finishing her studies, she assumed the role of a special representative of the peasant movement and traveled to the rural areas of Hua County, Shunde County, Zhongshan City, Chaomei County and other places in Guangdong Province, where she spread the seeds of revolution and carried out the peasant movement.

In the winter of 1925, in order to cooperate with the Northern Expedition of the National Revolutionary Army, He Xiangning, Deng Yingchao and others initiated the establishing of the Military Families and Women's Lifeguard Training Group in a bid to train rescue personnel from the Northern Expedition.

Gao went personally to the Training Group to teach packaging techniques.

In 1926, the National Revolutionary Army began the Northern Expedition. Gao served as the captain of the Northern Expeditionary Army Women's Ambulance Team and led the women's ambulance crew following the army flitting between the provinces of central China's Hunan, Hubei, and southwest China's Guizhou.

In August 1926, when the Northern Expeditionary Army took part in the battle of Tingsi Bridge, she led the Ambulance Team to rescue the wounded under the enemy's heavy fire.

Even after being shot with a bullet, Gao still consistently continued her rescue of the wounded from the firing line, and was dubbed the "Female General" of the Ambulance Team by officers.

She also actively carried out propaganda work, taught revolutionary theories to soldiers, and mobilized the grassroots to participate in the revolution.

After the failure of the National Revolution, Gao moved to the countryside in accordance with the requirements of the Party and persisted in the revolutionary cause.

In December 1927, the Guangzhou Uprising broke out. She returned to Guangzhou and organized local women to rescue the wounded.

After the failure of the Guangzhou Uprising, Gao was sent to east China's Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee.

In addition to her work for women, she also served in secret traffic liaison, accounting, and general affairs, and traveled between Jiangxi's Nanchang City and Ganzhou City.

In December 1929, Gao was unfortunately arrested by reactionaries because she was betrayed by a traitor.

The reactionary warlord Zhang Huizan tried to tempt her to confess through threats and promises, intending that she would surrender and tell her secret to the Party.

However, whether it was rhetoric or torture, Gao remained cold and unyielding.

He finally asked her, "Don't you fear death?"

She righteously replied, "After falling into your hands, I would never intend to get out alive!"

In the same month, she lost her life bravely at the age of 31.

In order to mourn Martyr Gao, in January 1930, the 69th issue of Red Flag, the official organ of the Central Committee of the CPC published Pay Tribute to Comrade Gao Tianbo, Our Female Soldier, calling on everyone to learn from her revolutionary spirit and struggle to the end.

After the founding of New China, He, as the then vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), wrote Remembering Comrade Gao Tianbo, singing high praise of the revolutionary deeds of Gao and her husband Ruan Xiaoxian.

Gao once fought for human rights for Chinese women who were feudalized and enslaved, led a large number of workers, peasants, and women to launch revolutionary campaigns and waged desperate struggles against imperialist and reactionary forces. What a role model for the Chinese Communists!" said Liu Shanying, director of the Party history office of Huiyang District Committee, Huizhou City.

Nowadays, as comfort to Martyr Gao, her hometown Huiyang District has undergone earth-shaking changes, and has won many honorary titles like National Civilized City, National Compulsory Education Development Base, and National Advanced Afforestation Collective.

(Source: and edited by Women of China)

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