My Exciting Discovery As a Volunteer Archivist

Guest post by Bethany Lamont, one of our new volunteers!

“If such tyrants became triumphant on the Western Front what a hell would lie before us!”

-Ben Tillett

Whilst the Glenside Hospital collection is known for its unexpected finds, imagine my unexpected delight in discovering an original First World War pamphlet within the pages of Dr. Andrew Wilson’s The Modern Physician, a medical series published in 1911, and itself a gem of vivid medical illustrations and time travel text.

The pamphlet was by none other than Bristol socialist, trade union organiser and politician, Ben Tillett: a key figure in the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers’ Union, the London Dock Strike of 1889 and the Independent Labour Party. He was also an MP for Salford North, Greater Manchester, between 1917-1924 and 1929-31.

The pamphlet serves as a portrait of his forthright support of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, a polemic belief within Socialist groups, and one that typified him as a “fighting socialist” by the great Edwardian man of letters G.K Chesterton.

The pamphlet details Ben Tillett’s passionate beliefs towards the German forces, its impact on industrial workers, and his belief in the absolute necessity of victory for the British military.

An incredible find!