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Showing posts with the label world war one


Sixteen million people died in the First World War. No fewer than  one in 40 of the nine million British and  Commonwealth troops came from the single city of Glasgow. 200,000 men from Glasgow fought, 17,695 were killed and many many more were wounded with lasting injuries and lost limbs. We should remember the futility of their deaths in “the war to end wars”

16,000  British  men are recorded as being conscientious  objectors. The Richmond Sixteen  were 16 men taken from  Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire where the Non-Combatant Corps was based, to an  army camp in northern France, refused to  unload supplies. They were court-martialled  and, as an example to others, sentenced to  death by Lord Kitchener. They were  only saved from this fate by Kitchener’s own sudden death and the prime minister,  Asquith, who  their sentence to  10 years’ hard labour. We should remember the social stigma these heroes had to bear for the rest of  their lives.

The Socialist Standard and Red Clyde

The First World War saw Clydeside gain its Red reputation, and the Socialist Standard at the time supported them but cautioned that their actions were not sufficent. It should be noted that "patriotic" printers refused to re-produce an article about Lloyd George and the Clyde.

The Socialist Standard challenged the engineer union workers' faith in their leaders writing it was those " trusted and prominent men, both parliamentarians and trade union officials, [who] were associated with every piece of legislation that fettered the workers more... too slowly, the workers are finding out their true friends and true principles, their cunning enemies and their delusive ways...Instead of abandoning the political machine to ambitious wiseacres and unscrupulous plotters, and letting them, in the secrecy of Cabinet conclaves, everlastingly scheme to set the social changes on you, see to it that those who are now proven the enemies of your class are no longer sent to represent…