Monday, January 20, 2014

Churchill and the Spanish Civil War

"I do not at all under-rate the severity of the ordeal which lies before us, but I believe our countrymen will show themselves capable of standing up to it like the brave men of Barcelona"

From 18 June 1940 "Finest Hour" speech by Winston Churchill June 1940

Yet, Churchill had backed Franco and argued against intervention in Spain and had given full support for fascist Italy

“with her ardent Fascisti, her renowned Chief, and stern sense of national duty,” and even more so on Mussolini, whom he saw as “the Roman genius…the greatest lawgiver among living men.”


Note the famous Neville Chamberlin umbrella (which had become a byline for German appeasement)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Conservative Party MP support for the Blackshirts, Hitler & The Daily Mail

Sir Thomas Moore (1886-1971)
Ayr Burghs Conservative Party Member of Parliament 1925-1964

Participated in the British expeditionary Force that invaded Russia after the Russian Revolution to support Czarist and "White" forces. A dirty war when Winston Churchill ordered the use of "Chemical weapons".

Member of the secret pro German, pro Hitler - Anglo- German Fellowship
Dubbed "Hitler's friend" by the Sunday pictorial

In October 1933 Thoms Moore had stated "Peace and justice are the keynotes of (Hitler's) Policies)

DSir thomas Moore MP was a supporter of the British Union of Fascists and its leader Sir Osward Mosley and Daily Mail supporter

In his Article he wrote for the Daily Mail 25th April 1934, entitled

"The blackshirts have what the Conservatives need"

Thomas Moore Conservative Party MP for Ayr stated

What is there in a black shirt which gives apparent dignity and intelligence to the wearer...... all seemingly filled with the same emotions, pride of race, love of Country, loyalty, hope.

As I listened to Sir Osward Mosley, I got my answer. There was little if any policy which could not be accepted by the most loyal follower of our present Conservative Party leaders

The majority of the essentials and many of the details are part and parcel of strict Tory doctrine"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daily Mail report of a German Nazi rally 1935

Daily Mail report of a German Nazi rally 1935 

"This corridor of broad chests, surmounted by fine open, clear cut faces, this elite of sturdy nations youth"

Daily Mail owner with Hitler

Monday, January 13, 2014

Yiewsley & West Drayton Co-operative Society - September 1893

Yiewsley and West Drayton Co-operative Society ( Committee 1910 ?)

President: H.J. Chilton
Secretary: E.Cox

Yiewsley and West Drayton Co-operertaive Committee:

T.Belcher; J.Hillver; T. Johnson; J.Kew; C. Light; H.J. Mullett; A.D. Pembroke and Whitehead

Education Committtee:
Chilton, Cox, Kew, Page and Pembroke and Mrs C.Belcher, T. Belcher; A.Davis; Embery, Emmerton and Pembroke.


The Yiewsley and West Drayton Cooperative Society was established in 1893 with 100 members and 
£100 shares capital now had 410 members and £1,200

Mr E.Cox Secretary
Yiewsley and West Drayton Co-Operative Society
Established 1893 Yiewsley & West Drayton Co-operative was formed on
25th September 1893 at DeBurgh Hall 
With Mr Lake as member Number 1 placed his one pond share (£500) and Mr C. Heron as President. 

 Yiewsley & West Drayton Co-Operative Society opened a Co-operative store at 31 and 32 Windsor Street, Uxbridge on Thursday 10th March 1910.

This was the Societies second store, having built up "Splendid business" at Yiewsley.

The Yiewsley & West Drayton Co-Operative Society reported it had over 500 member in 1910, most of whom were women

Mrs Gasson (Mrs M.A. Gasson of Acton ?) from the Wholesale Co-operative Union speaking at a Societies Hall in Yiewsley meeting in 1910 stated "many men were afraid to join the Society, for by doing so they would be endangering their position, and yet they called their land free England"

Finally merged into the London Co-operative Society in 1930. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trade Union Banners 1894 London

Picture with caption trade union banners at the opening of Peckham Rye Park 1894

It would be interesting to check the local newspaper report of the opening to confirm this fact as this would be one of the earliest photographs of trade union banners

Certainly the Gas workers union had a number of large demonstrations on Peckham Rye linked to strike action at Old Kent Road Gas Works (below  Gas workers union rally Peckham Rye 1889)

Friday, January 10, 2014

1940 London Irish Discrimination

Edward Hickey an Irishman living in Acton, West London in 1940 wrote to the Daily Worker 2 March 1940 in obvious anger at the way he (and many other Irishmen and women)  were being treated.

"I am an Irishman resident for a number of years in this citadel of democracy.

I have been sacked from my job, refused dole and told, when I went to interview the manager of the Acton Labour Exchange, that no Irishman could get a job as a temporary railway porter. What a lot of hypocrites we have ruling us here."


Colony of Irish at Hanwell

In 1937 the local Uxbridge paper was complaining that Hanwell was becoming a "Colony of Irish" and becoming a nuisance, like Greenford was 

27 March 1937

First Socialist Public Meeting in Hillingdon

First Socialist Public Meeting in Hillingdon

In July 1907 The London Standard announced that the London Clarion Scouts planned an “invasion” of Uxbridge, however the project was abandoned because of “inclement weather”. It then fell to the Southall Clarion Scouts to carry through on the plan and accordingly embarked upon the journey to St Margaret’s church Uxbridge on Saturday July 13th 1907 with the aim of initiating out what was the first socialist meeting ever held in Uxbridge at the old pump outside the church,

The local paper covered the event accordingly
“The meeting one of the first open air meetings held in Uxbridge was held outside St Margaret’s Church, the chief speaker being Councillor Horace Lucia (Southall) he explained that they (Socialists) aimed at the nationalisation of all means of production, distribution and exchange - not in order to rob anybody in any shape whatever, but in order to prevent the people, the workers being robbed as they were at present.
Socialism, he claimed, concerned life at every point, and would certainly sweep away the present unwholesome and unsanitary conditions in which so many of the working classes had to live, a condition, too which meant that they were underfed, badly clothed, and ill housed. He urged that the land, machinery, and other means of producing wealth. Should be utilised for the benefit of the whole nation, and not, as now, for the enrichment of a comparative few, while the mass of the people never knew how they were going to live from week to week.

Finally, he urged that if the people wanted social reforms carried out, they must look to no party but their own for they would get nothing which they did not strenuously claim and work for on their own behalf.

In November 1907 the Uxbridge gazette reported on the following regular events on Saturday night at the pump at St Margaret’s
Church Uxbridge , “The visitor to Uxbridge may see on any Saturday night just how the local people like the teachings of Socialism. Be it understood that the Uxbridge Socialist Society assembled themselves (with important speakers) in the triangle just outside the Church in Windsor Street and mounted on a box painted in flaming red, proclaimed to the public some of the advantages of Socialism. But the funny part of the whole business is that the Uxbridge people wont see the Socialists emphasise (ie) that “Socialism alone is the salvation of the masses” one of our staff went out of curiosity to watch the proceedings and the following transcript from his notebook will show pretty clearly the kind of reception the red flag has received
SOCIALIST ORAITOR: “the capitalists are..
THE CROWD: “Three cheers for Sir Frederick” (The local Tory MP)
SOCIALIST ORAITOR: “The wage slaves of England”

THE CROWD: “Good old Joe”

SOCIALIST ORAITOR: “You sweated workers”

THE CROWD: “Rot, Ailens, Jews”

SOCIALIST ORAITOR: “Think of your present conditions, I heard a man just now he had lost his job “

THE CROWD: an egg or two is thrown

THE CROWD: “Tariff Reform”
THE CROWD: Then a none too musical voice rises to song “If I could only take your hand” The notes are rendered in the slowest possible manner the musical susceptibilities of one of the socialists are hurt.
SOCIALIST ORAITOR: leaves the box and a colleague fills the vacancies.

SOCIALIST ORAITOR: “ ill sing you a song (he says) The red flag and he gets no further.
Boisterous laughter is all that is heard, discard reigns. Supreme despair on the faces of the red flaggers.
A Policeman walks round with a merry twinkle in his eye
ONE VOICE: “Three cheers for Joe”
THE CROWD: in unison they come back ONE VOICE: “And now three cheers for John Burns”
THE CROWD: “Boo - Boo - Boo - ray” When this has been repeated some half a dozen times.

THE CROWD: Sing God Save the Queen, two or three times

All then becomes quiet the Socialists have departed the crowd follows suit The Socialists however, before they went promised to return on Sunday morning.

The Secretary of Uxbridge Socialist Society was in 1907 Mr A.D. Notley of 8 Tachbrook Road, Uxbridge, who became a well known Uxbridge Socialists family.

At the end of September/early October 1908 a Socialist Van (This must have been a Clarion). The “Vanners” “entered upon a three day match with lungs and wit at Uxbridge, for about three hours each evening the pavement under the Market House rang with the heavy shock of the wordy warfare, and it must be admitted that the Socialist Orator held their own remarkably well”

Southall & Hayes and the Spanish Civil War

In July 1936 A.J. Murphy of Beresford Road, Southall wrote a very incisive letter to the Advertiser stating
“The Spanish people are defending democracy with their lives they are not doing it for Spain alone, they are doing it for the peoples of all democratic countries in Europe for who can doubt if Fascism triumphs in Spain that tomorrow the peoples front in France will equally be attacked”

January 1937 a meeting of the
Southall Communist party had two speakers on Spain G.Y. Lothian of the TGWU and Isabel Brown Secretary of the Relief for Victims of War & Fascism. Showed film “Defence of Madrid” by Ivor Montagu, (with the aid of Norman McLaren - cameraman) filmed in November 1936 The collection raised £70,0s 5d, including £25 from the A.E.C. strike Committee
The film was in three parts
1)The assault on a people

2) The defence of Liberty
3) The World assists.

It showed air raids and air battles and scenes of great destruction at the office of Public works, newspaper, Church of San Sebastian, Palace of Duke of Alma and other Places…It shows a fire caused by a quarter ton bomb, still burning fire days later after the explosion. It showed the slain and injured victims. The second part dealt with the call to arms the building of barricades and air raid shelters the drilling and dispatch of troops to the front. It showed front line line scenes taken under fire in the University City. The third part showed the dispatch of food ships from the Soviet union the string of supplies to the capital, medical aid and hospital scenes and the work of the International Column (Brigade).

The column was shown in billets at the bunkhouse in the machine gun repair shop and in the front line trenches. There was also a picture of Ludwig
Renn (b 22 april 1889-d21July 1979 famous German pacifist writer and one of Hans Beimler the German Communist MP who later died in the defence of Madrid in December 1936. I

Isabel Brown stated at the meeting “This fight was not between fascism and communism but between fascism and democracy” she went on to to speak about the “urgent need not only of arms but also of medical aid and warm clothing”

On Thursday 13
th January 1937 a meeting of the “Aid to Spain” movement was held at Costons School, Oldfield Lane with D.F. Macauley in the Chair . A second meeting was held on 14th February with Michael Finn (AUBTW - Building union) and recent trade union delegation to Spain at Greenford.

In February 1937 it was reported by Mrs A. Grandjean (5 Brent Road,Southall)of the Communist Party, that Southall had three men in Spain, two in the International Brigade and one in the Medical unit as an Ambulance Driver The meeting was inaugurated as a result of rank & File Transport & General Workers bus section conference of all trade unionists in London to hold meeting for the sending of delegates to Spain said T. Duncan Greenford Aid to Spain was organising Thursday afternoon knitting sessions at 51 Rothesay Avenue.

T. Duncan in the International Brigade “Fascism must be crushed in Spain, the only thing he could do was go to Spain and fight for the workers”
Mr M. Bromley a member of the International Brigade spoke to the Greenford Committee in March 1937 Ealing Spanish relief Committee held an inaugural meeting in the Lecture Room, Ealing Green, Congregational Church, The Secretary was Mr R.V. Procter of 24 Bradley Garens, West Ealing
Brothers Joe Coomes (Ealing) International Brigade Coomes (Ealing) Ambulance In

March 1937 a meeting was held at
Southall Labour hall, the speaker was Dr C. Addison of the British Medical unit. Two resolutions were carried agreeing the setting up of a United Aid to Spain Committee which was charged with organising a campaign of solidarity and raising cash to assist the work of the Spanish Medical Aid unit and the heroic international brigade and to arouse the people of Southall and Hayes to the dangers of the non-intervention policy of the national government. The other resolution called upon the Trades Union Congress to call a Conference on Spain..
A committee representing twenty organisations was formed to get in touch with Churches, Chapels and other bodies regarding Spain. £5 for the Dr Addison Fund was raised In April a he Friends of Spain Uxbridge & Slough District Medical committee was established with the aim of raising £400-£500 for a medical unit. Mr W. Kuhlman of 17 Oakleigh Road, Hillingdon agreed to be the assistant District Secretary and Mrs L.Y. Morgan of 51 Swan Road, West Drayton was organiser for Yiewsley & west Drayton.

They organised house to house collections.
The Friends of Spain held its first public meeting at St Andrews Parish hall, Uxbridge where the main speaker was Dr Milne, The Irish poet, the entrance fee was 6d and the meeting showed the film “Defence of Madrid” and News from Spain. On May 1st 1937 the Film Defence of Madrid was shown at the Methodist hall, long lane at 8pm Leaders Wilfred Roberts MP , Duchess of Atholl and Eleanor Rathbone

A society for the defence of political liberty
Uxbridge April Speaker Miss Levatoff recently on delegation to Spain and Rex Irming London District Organiser “They were of the opinion that Franco would never capture Madrid, their spirits and morale was high” They were convinced that they were fighting not only for Freedom of Spain but for the overthrow of Fascism throughout Europe

Winston Churchill had stated in the Evening Standard 10th August 1936 that “The Spanish government had no legal or moral claim to support Spain, since it was being subverted and devowed by Communism” he was still supporting Franco as late as December 1938 (unlike Ted Heath future Conservative Prime Minister, who supoported the Republican cause)

British Unit left for Spain on August 23rd 1936

Captain W. B. Martin who fought in Spain in the 6
th Artillery Battery of 1st Durutti Column spoke November 1937 Ruislip-Northwood Labour party speaking of the rebel troops stated “Over the top dressed in German field gray uniform there was the nucleus of world war in Spain and the English working Class should say it must stop since the beginning of the wars in Spain had been turned from a country of orange groves and vineyards into one of desolation and ruin by the rebel fascist forces who were backed up by dictators. Unless that was stopped in Spain it would happen to this country” William Martin a World War 1 veteran recognising the gravity of the situation immediately took command of an artillery section of sixty men In September 1936 ambulance Joaquin Maurin driven to Aragon front seen off from Clapham by Fenner Brockway special branch thought contained signaling equipment

In May 1936 J.
Woodburn Secretary of the Uxbridge Trades Council stated

“That Hitler means War, there is no doubt and no matter what pacts he may sign they will not be worth the paper they are written on”

”We must make the workers understand that Hitler is a menace to Peace in Europe, make no mistake about it the first round has gone to Fascism and reaction, but we must see that now Unity has won in France, Spain and shown what can be done in Peckham the next round will also beat Fascism and reaction in this Country”


John Mansfield building motorbike with sidecar ambulances for Spain at Hayes Labour hall

Mrs A. Grandjean active in Southall Comunist party and Southall Peace Council (any information welcomed)

Picture Atlee speaking to International Brigade in Spain

Mrs A. Grandjean, (5 Brent Road, Southall) very active in local and national Comunist Party

Hayes Labour attiude to WW1

It is clear despite a significant minority of the Labour Party opposing World War One, The vast majority of the British Labour Party ended up supporting the War, and it seems this was reflected locally in Hayes, West Middlesex.

While there may have been concerns about the War by Hayes Labour Association founder Percy Langton accusing the “gutter press ” of having “done more to bring about this war than the Kaiser.”
The German invasion of neutral Belgium and abuses of Belgium civilians had swung support to the pro War lobby

Former Hayes Urban District Labour Councillor, Henry Palmer, who had by 1915 emigrated to Canada stated
“We are fighting a just and right war and one that was forced on us to keep our honor we were bound to help the weak and those of us who have to give up our sons to go, know that if they never come back they died doing their duty for their country. Both of my sons have gone and if they never come back I say God’s will be done
Henry Palmer; Stratford Canada
December 1915

Henry Palmer, like so many paid a heavy price for his beliefs, both his sons were killed William Alfred Palmer (Eastern Ontario Regiment) 26th April 1916 Lieutenant Henry Arthur Palmer (Central Ontario Regimen) 30th September 1918.

Likewise Uxbridge Councillor and Uxbridge Independant Labour Party Secretary, L.W. Spencer was killed

At Uxbridge, Labour Councillor Robert Hudson got caught up with the jingoism of the day in stating that “We are all British before Party” 

A more main stream Labour Party view of the War was stated by Labour Perspective Parliamentary Candidate for Uxbridge Parliamentary Division (which included Hayes) Harry Gosling at a meeting in Harefield in late1918
“I hate war and militarism but I would object to anyone taking a liberty with me (?) I believe country was absolutely right in the action it took, but it need not mean that they should go on fighting for ever and ever, the war must be settled”

In Hayes the immediate impact of the War was improved wages offered by the factory owners, (and huge numbers of women rushed to new jobs - soilders complained about their pay compared to these young women workers pay) as the factories switched from consumer goods to War goods. This no doubt also muffled opposition to the War in Hayes

But as food prices rocketed and rents doubled, there was growing support for the stance of those that protested, such as the local National Union of Railwaymen’s branches protest at price of food “ which they viewed with alarm and extreme dissatisfaction the present high prices of food “
On Rent’s, Labour Councillor Juan Drenon was at the forefront of the campaign to expose “profiteering” by Private Landlords. It was stated that “Rents in 1915 were 3s above that charged pre-War”

Councillor Drenon in a blistering attack in July 1915 stated,
The patriotism of many so called patriots, starts and ends with their pockets. It was the same with the coal owners who grew fat out of the country’s needs and risk the country’s safety rather than give the colliers a living wage”

By November 1915, Councillor Drenon was so concerned about the situation with regard to rents that he called for the establishment of a Tenants Defense League similar to that established elsewhere.
Elsewhere, in West Middlesex the harsh treatment and eviction of those with husbands and sons in the Armed Forces was typified by the heartless eviction of Mr and Mrs Fort aged 73 and 69 respectively, residing at Copthall Farm, Ickenham, who had five out of six sons in the army and one son in a restricted occupation. This eviction was not uncommon and showed the scant regard business showed to the poor during the War.

Little wonder, that the Hayes Labour Party was also supportive of the principle of £1 a week for soldiers and their dependents .

A unique letter home from Reginald Hamaton of Hillingdon who was in the Army of Occupation in (Cologne) Germany in January 1919, shines a small light on the situation in Geremany.
“We are very lucky here as we are in Jerry’s peace time barracks, and have nice single cots, pillows, and soft beds, plenty of coal for the fire, “bags” of electric light, etc. We are not allowed to walk or talk with the civilian population…..I suppose this is the place where they make the Eau de Cologne, but I have not seen any about. Of course, I cannot speak any German, and it is hard to understand the people, but they are very nice and treat us very good – far better than I thought would be the case. It is funny to see Jerry’s bicycles with the patent spilings for tyres. As you know, he has no rubber, and his motor lorries have iron tyres, and it makes the people look when they see all ours using rubber. 
Another thing they are very short of soap”.

At the end of the War what is of note is the refusal of the Labour councilors and therefore the Hayes Urban District Council to mark or participate in the victory and peace celebrations carried out by nearly every other council in the country

Councillor Alfred Beck - Beck Theatre

Alfred John Charles Beck

199 Station Road, Hayes

Contracts manager, Leader of Hayes Urban District Council, member of the Labour Party for over half of his life, life time trade union member. former secretary and Treasurer Hayes CLP. Chairman of Finance, Education Committees of London Borough of Hillingdon. Member of Hospital Manangement Committee. Justice of the Peace.

Beck Theatre named after him

Hayes Labour Councillors

Early Hayes Labour Association Councillors

Henry Palmer (Bricklayer) 1911-1913
Oak Cottages, High Road
Percy Osborne Langton (Clerk) 1912-1915
18 Angel Lane, Hayes End
Juan Colonna Drenon (Bookseller) 1913-1917 (UDC Chair 1915)
Barra Hall, Wood End, Hayes
William Rawlings (Packing Case Maker) 1914-
(Chair 1919) 1 Sydney Villas, Blythe Rd
Frederick V Mason (Machinist) 1914-1920
6 Silverdale Rd
Robert William Gunton (Civil Servant) 1915 -1936
1 West Gate Villas, High Road, Hayes
F Woodard 1914 -1920
W. Herbert Rhodes (Painter) 1915-1919
17 Cranmer Rd, Hayes End
Fredrick Henry Conway (Woodworker)
11 Austin Road, Hayes
George Alfred. Manley (Sanitary Engineer) 1919-(Chair 1920)
6 the Parade, High Road
H. Booth 1917-1919
Launcelot Fowler 1919-
J.W Davies 1919 ???????
Robert John Leach (Engineer) 1920
1 Clare Villas, Clarendon Rd
Albert Edward Knight (Insurance Agent) 1920-
The Nursery, Pistill Lane
Horace Sydney Greenhead (Engineer) 1920
19 Tudor Rd