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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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Ronald William George Barker (1929–2005) by unknown photographer, 1975 Getty Images

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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See Beasley [née James], (Catherine) Eileen

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Bibby, Joseph (1851–1940), animal feed and soap manufacturer, was born on 12 January 1851 at Conder Mill, Vale of Conder, Lancashire, the second of the three sons of James Bibby, farmer and miller, and his wife, Amelia Barnett. He attended an elementary school until 1861 and 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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Bulley, Arthur Kilpin (1861–1942), cotton broker and gardener, was born at Montpellier Lodge, Montpellier Crescent, New Brighton, Cheshire, on 10 January 1861, the fourth son and thirteenth of fourteen children of Samuel Marshall Bulley (1811–1880), cotton broker, and his wife, Mary Rachel (1817–1887)...

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See Bulmer, Henry Percival [Percy]

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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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Carr, Jonathan Thomas (1845–1915), property developer, was born in Dublin, the eldest son among the ten children of Jonathan Carr (d. 1881), a wholesale woollen draper of Cumbrian origin with a business in the West End of London, and his Irish wife. The family was liberal in outlook, art loving, and gregarious: one brother, ...

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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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Dadabhoy, Sir Maneckji Byramji (1865–1953), industrialist and politician in India, was born in Bombay on 30 July 1865. He came of a much respected Parsi family, the second son of Khan Bahadur Byramji Dadabhoy JP, registrar of joint stock companies and assurances. He was educated in ...

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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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Eaton, Peter (1914–1993), bookseller, was born Peter Eton at 8 York Gate, London, on 24 January 1914. His father is unknown, but his mother was (Elizabeth) Maria Eton, who later married George Papp and lived in Hungary. Peter was advertised in the Nursing Times...

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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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Firbank, Joseph (1819–1886), railway contractor, was born at Bishop Auckland on the south-western edge of the north-east coalfield, the son of Ralph Firbank (1788–1866), a Durham miner, and his wife, Barbara, née Thompson (1790–1874). At the age of seven he was sent to work in a colliery, and attended a night school. In 1833 he obtained employment on the permanent way, and in 1841 secured a sub-contract in connection with the ...