Soldiers as workers: working-class life and conflict in the British army of the nineteenth century

Far from being ‘ruffians officered by gentlemen’, the British army of the nineteenth century was made up of a typical cross-section of working-class men whose military lives mirrored those of the civilian working class, says Nick Mansfield, author of Soldiers as Workers – Class, Employment, Conflict and the Nineteenth-Century Military. As a labour historian, I have always retained a slightly odd interest in military history. … Continue reading Soldiers as workers: working-class life and conflict in the British army of the nineteenth century

The Global Challenge of Peace: introducing book 17 in the Studies in Labour History series

Histories of the transition from war to peace at the end of the First World War tend to focus on the role of statesmen and imperial powers. Now a new book in the Studies in Labour History Series aims to re-examine the year 1919 from below, as its editor, Dr Matt Perry explains Continue reading The Global Challenge of Peace: introducing book 17 in the Studies in Labour History series

The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

Labour’s European policies in the Wilson era were shaped not just in Whitehall but by formal and informal links between key players in the party and its Danish counterpart, says Dr Matt Broad, author of Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958–72 Continue reading The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

What a day to be a headline writer on a Labour newspaper. On 23 January 1924, the TUC-owned Daily Herald led its news coverage with the formation of the first ever Labour government. But big as it was, the story had to share the front page with news from Moscow of the sudden death of Lenin. Born out of a strike bulletin first published by … Continue reading Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

The Labour Party began to recruit individual members in 1918, and youth sections appeared in a handful of divisional party organisations soon afterwards. But it was not until 1924 that the National Executive Committee formalised their existence and established a Labour Party League of Youth to act as a national co-ordinating body – albeit one with strictly limited representation and voice within the party’s structures. … Continue reading Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

Fifty years a labour historian: SSLH President Keith Laybourn on half a century at Huddersfield University

As a school leaver, Keith Laybourn was told, “Don’t be too ambitious”. This year, the SSLH President marks thirty years as a professor and fifty as an academic at the University of Huddersfield. We asked him about a lifetime in labour history Continue reading Fifty years a labour historian: SSLH President Keith Laybourn on half a century at Huddersfield University

The delights of exile: French anarchists in Victorian and Edwardian London

Their numbers were small but France’s revolutionary exiles were to have a significant impact on international politics, says Dr Constance Bantman, author of The French Anarchists in London, 1880-1914, now published in paperback. The history of the French anarchists exiled in London between the late 1870s and 1914 has long been treated like a footnote in the history of the French anarchist movement. Looking at … Continue reading The delights of exile: French anarchists in Victorian and Edwardian London