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General Strike Day 6: Sunday 9 May 1926

Mass meeting at Doncaster

[Mass meeting of "wage cut resisters" at Doncaster; photograph enclosed with Doncaster and District Council of Action strike report to the Trades Union Congress General Council, 12 May 1926]

The strike, remember, has let loose the forces of disorder which are no part of the Trade Unionism of this country, hooligan forces, which Trade Union leaders themselves in ordinary times would disown. Those forces must be quelled, order must be preserved, constitutional methods re-established"

Lord Grey, speaking as part of the BBC news broadcast, 9pm

  • Large meetings of strikers take place in many areas.
  • A military cordon is drawn around the London Docks and a second convoy of lorries carrying flour and other foodstuffs, under military escort, travels from the Victoria Docks, London, to Hyde Park. The Trades Union Congress newspaper 'The British Worker' condemns the convoys as a "ridiculous, unnecessary demonstration" intended "to make people afraid, by making them believe that strike has violent revolutionary aims".
  • The Trades Union Congress continue in talks with Sir Herbert Samuel, and place a draft of the Samuel recommendations (unauthorised by government) before the miners’ leaders. The miners insist that no settlement is possible which includes wage cuts.
  • The BBC broadcasts a government appeal for volunteers to join a Civil Constabulary Reserve for London, to help the existing volunteer forces - the Metropolitan Special Constabulary Reserve and the Metropolitan Special Emergency Constabulary. Membership is open to those in the Territorial Army or ex-servicemen, and volunteers will receive free accommodation, army rations, pay and a clothing allowance.
  • At High Mass in Westminster Cathedral Cardinal Bourne declares the general strike to be "a sin against the duty which we owe to constituted authority and to God Who is the Source of that authority", and that Catholics "are bound to uphold and assist the Government".
  • Will Lawther, former Parliamentary candidate for South Shields, and Harry Bolton, chairman of Blaydon Urban District Council, are arrested under the Emergency Act at Chopwell, Co. Durham, and remanded in custody. Bail is refused.
  • At Camberwell, London, 400 strikers parade in military formation, wearing their First World War medals, and march to a church service held at the Central Hall, Peckham. This follows trade union advice for strikers to wear their service medals, to show their patriotism and previous service to the country.
  • Some overnight violence in London. At Nine Elms a police sergeant is attacked with a hammer and a special constable is stabbed in the back.

Selected sources:

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