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Abraham, William [pseud. Mabon] (1842–1922), trade unionist and politician, was born at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on 14 June 1842, the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Abraham. His father, a coalminer and copper smelter, soon died, leaving his mother to raise a large family. ...

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William Abraham [Mabon] (1842–1922) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1901 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Jennie Adamson (1882–1962), by Elliott & Fry, 1945

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adamson [née Johnston], Janet Laurel (1882–1962), labour movement activist and politician, was born at Kilmarnock on 9 May 1882, one of the six children of Thomas Johnston, a railway porter, and Elizabeth, née Denton. Her father died young and her mother had to become a dressmaker to support the family. As ...

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William Adamson (1863–1936) by Bassano, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adamson, William [Willie] (1863–1936), politician and trade unionist, was born at Halbeath, near Dunfermline in Fife, on 2 April 1863, the son of James Armstrong Adamson, a coalminer, and Flora Cunningham. He attended a dame-school run by the wife of a mining engineer, and left at the age of eleven to work in the mining industry, where he was employed for the next twenty-seven years. He married, on 25 February 1887, ...

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Ammon, Charles George, Baron Ammon (1873–1960), trade unionist and politician, was born on 22 April 1873 into a poor working-class family in White Street, Southwark, London. He was the eldest child of Charles George Ammon (d. 1887), cutler and toolmaker, and Mary Kempley (1851–1900)...

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Arch, Joseph (1826–1919), trade unionist and politician, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, on 10 November 1826, the son of John Arch (bap. 1795, d. 1862), a shepherd, and his wife, Hannah, née Pace (1783–1845). Before her marriage his mother worked as a domestic servant in ...

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Maker: Barraud

Joseph Arch (1826–1919) by Barraud, c. 1890 Getty Images – Barraud

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George Ranken Askwith, Baron Askwith (1861–1942) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Askwith, George Ranken, Baron Askwith (1861–1942), industrial arbitrator and civil servant, was born at Waltham Abbey, Essex, on 17 February 1861, the second but eldest surviving son of William Harrison Askwith (1811–1897), colonel (later general) in the Royal Artillery, and formerly superintendent of the royal gunpowder factories at ...

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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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Baker, Robert (1803–1880), surgeon and factory inspector, was born on 15 August 1803 in York, the second son of John James Baker (1767–1840), druggist, of High Ousegate, York, and his wife, Hannah née Brogden (1773–1843). His career shows many parallels with that of the better-known ...

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Ball, William (fl. 1911–1913), suffrage activist and trade unionist, came from a working-class family, possibly based in the midlands. Little is known of his early years apart from his paid work after leaving school. After working initially as a gardener, he became a master tailor with his own business, moving into unskilled work when this failed. In 1911–12 he was living in ...

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Ballinger, William George (1892–1974), trade unionist and politician, was born at 2 back 45 Gooch Street, Birmingham, on 21 September 1892, the first-born among the six children of Walter George Ballinger (1862–1907), a blacksmith, and his wife, Mary Minnie Johnson (1866–1927), a former actress. In 1901 the ...

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Barnes, Sir Denis Charles (1914–1992), civil servant and industrial relations expert, was born on 15 December 1914 at 4 Station Road, Openshaw, Manchester, the second son and fifth of six children of Frederick Charles Barnes (c.1870–c.1920), a school attendance officer for the local education committee, and his wife, ...

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Barnes, George Nicoll (1859–1940), trade unionist and politician, was born on 2 January 1859 at Lochee, Forfarshire, the second of five sons of James Barnes, a skilled engineer and mill manager from Yorkshire, and his wife, Catherine Adam Langlands. The family moved back to ...

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Barr, Albert Glendelin [Glen] (1942–2017), trade unionist, politician, and community worker, was born on 19 March 1942 at 5 King Street, Waterside, Londonderry, the youngest of ten children (two of whom died before he was born) of Robert Barr (d....

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Belcher, John William (1905–1964), politician and trade unionist, was born on 2 August 1905 at 12 Radington Road, Kensington, London, the first surviving child of John Thomas Belcher, an assurance agent and later a postal sorting worker, and his wife, Lillie Harriett, née...

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Richard Bell (1859–1930) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1903 © National Portrait Gallery, London