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Bain, James Thompson (1860–1919), trade unionist in South Africa, was born at Dudhope Crescent, Dundee, on 6 March 1860, the third child of Andrew Bain and his wife, Eliza, née Thomson. His parents were both mill workers. At the age of seven he started work in a factory. At sixteen he joined the ...

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Birch [formerly Catlin-Birch], Reginald (1914–1994), trade unionist and political activist, was born Reginald Catlin-Birch on 7 June 1914 at 4 Chichester Terrace, Kilburn, London, one of the five children of Charles Catlin-Birch (d. 1928), house painter and builder, and his wife, ...

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Reginald Birch (1914–1994) by Harrison © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Elizabeth Margaret Braddock (1899–1970) by unknown photographer, 1958 [The Braddocks [left to right]: Myles White, , and Jack Braddock (1892-1963) ] © reserved / unknown collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Braddock [née Bamber], Elizabeth Margaret [Bessie] (1899–1970), trade union activist and politician, was born at Zante Street, Liverpool, on 24 September 1899, the elder daughter of Hugh Bamber, bookbinder, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Andrew Little, an Edinburgh lawyer. Mary Bamber...

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Burns, John Elliott (1858–1943), labour leader and politician, was born in South Lambeth, London, on 20 October 1858, the sixteenth child of Alexander Burns, a Scottish fitter, and Barbara Smith. He left St Mary's national school when he was about ten and after a series of short-term jobs was apprenticed as an engineer....

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John Elliott Burns (1858–1943) by John Collier, 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Chapple, Francis Joseph [Frank], Baron Chapple (1921–2004), trade unionist, was born at 90 St Johns Road, Shoreditch, London, on 8 August 1921, the only son of Francis (Frank) Chapple, boot and shoe repairer, and his wife, Emma Gertrude, daughter of Joseph Rook, of ...

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Cousins, Frank (1904–1986), trade unionist, was born on 8 September 1904 at 28 Minerva Street, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, the eldest son in a family of ten (five sons and five daughters) of Charles Fox Cousins, miner, and his wife, Hannah, née Smith, the daughter of a miner from ...

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Dallas, George (1878–1961), trade unionist and politician, was born in Glasgow on 6 August 1878, the son of George Dallas, a shoemaker, and Mary Hay. He grew up in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, and worked at a coalmine after leaving elementary school before resuming his formal education at the ...

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Dash, Jack O'Brien (1907–1989), political activist and unofficial dockers' leader, was born on 23 April 1907 in Southwark, south London, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Thomas Dash, a stagehand, and his wife, Rose Gertrude Johns, an actor. According to Dash's own account, his upbringing was one of great material hardship. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven and his father, who then had an even greater struggle to support the family, also died of a lung complaint a few years later. After an elementary schooling, his skill at drawing led to a trial period with an engraving firm, but pressure to take home a better wage resulted in a series of menial jobs, starting in a ...

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Etheridge, Richard Albert [Dick] (1909–1985), trade unionist, was born on 27 December 1909 in Halesowen, son of Alfred and Berthie, née Rudge. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Birmingham, where Alfred ran a café. Dick attended St Thomas's School and Handsworth Technical School...

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Gast, John (c. 1772–1837), trade unionist and radical, was born in Bristol, the son of Robert Gast, a seller of milk. He had at least two brothers, and at some time married Elizabeth, who outlived him, but nothing else is known of his family. Soon after finishing his apprenticeship he left ...

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George Gibson (1885–1953) by Bassano © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gibson, George (1885–1953), trade unionist and mental health worker, was born at 98 Cumberland Street, Glasgow, on 3 April 1885, the third son and seventh of the eleven children of Johnston Robertson Gibson (b. 1847), outdoor labourer, oil merchant, and tobacconist, and his wife, ...

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Hallas, Eldred (1870–1926), trade unionist and politician, was born in Stainland in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on 23 February 1870, the eldest son of Edward Hallas (1847–1920), wool sorter and later wool buyer, and his first wife, Sarah, née Barrett (1849–1875). He had an elder sister. Their elementary education cut short, ...

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Thomas Ryder Johnson (1872–1963) by Keogh Brothers courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

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Johnson, Thomas Ryder (1872–1963), trade unionist and politician, was born on 17 May 1872 at 10 South Hunter Street, off Maryland Street, Liverpool, the only child of Thomas Johnson, foreman sailmaker, and his wife, Margaret Boardman. His parents were both English. Although his father was Anglican by upbringing, ...

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Macarthur [married name Anderson], Mary Reid (1880–1921), women's labour organizer, was born at Glasgow on 13 August 1880, the eldest daughter of John Duncan Macarthur, proprietor of a drapery business, and his wife, Anne Elizabeth Martin. She was one of six children, of whom only three survived. Educated at ...

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Mary Reid Macarthur (1880–1921) by unknown photographer by permission of the People's History Museum