Battle of George Square

BOOK GLASGOW HOTELS

History on 31st January


Guy Fawkes hanged, drawn and quartered

Battle of George Square

Glasgow, Glasgow The 31st of January 1919 AD

As troops returned from the battlefields of France and Belgium the spirit of national unity rapidly faded. Old questions of employment conditions, wages, and the unequal distribution of wealth and power among the classes in Britain arose once more. In Glasgow the unions in the shipbuilding and engineering sectors pushed for a drastic reduction in working hours, partly because the 54- or even 57-hour week worked before the conflict was unreasonable; partly to spread the work available among a workforce swelling with demobbed soldiers.
A strike that began on January 27 drew more supporters until by Friday January 31 there were upwards of 60,000 men out. The government of Lloyd George was concerned that the situation could escalate into a revolution, fears increased when large numbers gathered in George Square in support of their claims being presented to the Lord Provost.
How the ensuing riot started is disputed: some sources say the workers became aggressive, stopping trams and threatening order; others that the Glasgow police made a baton charge without any provocation. Whatever the cause, the square erupted into a mass brawl, with the police not discriminating between workers and their wives when it came to use of the truncheon.
Workers’ leaders such as Manny Shinwell were arrested and subsequently jailed; the government reinforced the troops in the area with English regiments, tanks and even artillery. Eventually calm prevailed; but the workers achieved a 47-hour week.

More famous dates here

10122 views since 25th January 2010

Brit Quote:
Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic. - Lewis Carroll
More Quotes

On this day:
First Town Incorporated by English Parliament - 1439, Battle of Brentford - 1642, Battle of Preston - 1715, Elgar opens Abbey Road recording studios - 1931, First Photo of Nessie - 1933, Tirpitz Sunk - 1944, End of the Pound note - 1984, Tim Berners-Lee Proposes world wide web - 1990, Absolutely Fabulous Debuts - 1992, Gary Glitter Jailed - 1999
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages