Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cliff Comer General Secretary 1948-1953



Cliff Comer

COHSE General Secretary 1948-1953



Clifford F Comer
was born at Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset and began his career as a mental nurse at Wells hospital in 1918, where for many years he was branch secretary (from the mid 1920’s onwards) of the National Asylum workers Union & Mental Health & Institutional Workers Union. Cliff living at 3 Bath Road Terrace, Wells.

He was also a firm Labour Party member and was always active in his local Constituency, serving for many years on the Somerset county council as well as Labour Party Secretary.

He then had the distinction in 1932 of being appointed the unions first national organiser, based in the unions office in Manchester.

In 1938 he was transferred to London as the Southern Organiser to replace Rev Stanley Morgan organiser 1921-1937and where a new office was opening and until amalgamation in 1946 he ran the London office to cover the Southern region.

Cliff was elected assistant General secretary of the Confederation of Health service employees (COHSE) in 1947 and played a key role in smoothing the teething problems that inevitably resulted from merger and the formation of the new NHS.

In 1948 as “heir apparent” he was elected general secretary as successor to George Gibson.

It was Cliff’s vision and forward thinking that saw COHSE take a major steps towards becoming Britain’s specialist NHS union.

He was renowned for his clarity of vision, his sound tactical sense and his total commitment to the union and was according to some “far from the humourless bureaucrat of tradition”. Indeed it was aid he had an “impish” scene of humour and his twinkling smile enlivened any meeting”.

He retired unexpectedly in April 1953 for “personal reasons” but many believed because of his frustration at the lack of growth in membership and the splits on the National Executive Committee.

He attended every union conference from 1926 until 1978, which must be a record.

It must have given him great satisfaction to visit the unions headquarter at Glen house, Banstead, Surrey when it was opened in 1976.

A non smoker or drinker and strong Christian.

He died 22 September 1978 and his funeral took place at the Salvation Army Citadel, Weston-Super-Mare, where Cliff served for many years as a trombonist in the Army band.

Died 22 September 1976 aged 83

born 1896 ?

Dick Akers General Secretary 1967-1969


Arthur Richard Akers

COHSE General secretary 1967 - 1969

Arthur Richard Akers or “Dick “ as he was commonly known was born in 1904 in London.

He was employed as a boy clerk in the telegraph office at Barking station (he first joined a union in 1919) but became a steward on transatlantic liners. He later became a valet to a rich family in Long Island, New York,USA.

After being refused a work permit for the States he returned in 1930, later taking up “temporary” employment at Goodmays Psychiatric hospital, Ilford, Essex, where he later qualified as a mental nurse RMPA (Gold badge). Joining the MH&IWU in 1932.

While at Goodmayes he was schooled in trade unionism by Joe Soley the Mental Hospital & institutional workers Union Branch secretary. (The Goodmayes branch of the National Asylum Workers Union was established in 1913 and recognition followed in 1919)

He became branch secretary at Goodmayes hospital in 1944 and was appointed COHSE Regional Secretary in 1947.

He was active in organising the famous Trafalgar square (and Hyde Park) 1,000 strong student nurse demonstration of 15th August 1948. He was later alsoinvolved in the 1962 nurses pay campaign including a rally in Trafalgar Square and mass meetings at Caxton and Albert hall.

he was appointed a COHSE national Officer and in 1962 was elected by a large majority and on a 58% turnout Assistant General secretary.

He was credited in 1964 of securing the passage of a resolution calling for the “nationalization” of the Ambulance service at TUC congress. NUPE and other being opposed because it was under Local authority control.

In 1966 he was elected General secretary on the retirement of Jack Jepson, once again beating frank Lynch in the process. Taking up post on January 1st 1967.

He lived in Carlshalton, Surrey and had a wife, Hilda and two sons and one daughter. His daughter sue, being a nurse and COHSE member.

“his cheerful disposition and sharp cockney wit are allied to a sound common sense, which makes him a shrewd Whitley negotiator and entertaining platform speaker” according to the COHSE Journal of January 1962.

retired as COHSE General Secretary June 1969.

Died 1977

Vincent Evans General Secretary 1918-1946

George Vincent Evans

General Secretary 1918-1946

‘G.V.E’ as he was generally known, was born 1889 in Enfield, Middlesex, the second son of Mr J Evans and Mrs Evans of Chase Farm Schools, Enfield.

His Poor Law career commenced at Battle, Sussex in 1905 as an articulated clerk then, 1906 at Poplar Board of Guardians office, as a junior clerk, and finally at Paddington Board of Guardians as a Deputy Clerk.

He had convened the meeting of 6th December 1918 Holbourn, which finally propelled the Poor Law Workers Trade Union into the existence (out of the National Poor Law Officers Association)

Initially appointed London organiser, he was elected General Secretary unopposed when Archibald Milne resigned after two months “nerve racking” effort.

He steered the union through various spurts in membership growth and a number of name changes National Union of Councty Officers (NUCO) and Hospital & Welfare Services Union (HWSU).

Evans was a deeply religious man and a well known accomplished organist (notably at TUC Congress) and composer.

On amalgamation into COHSE (the other union being the Mental Health & Institutional Workers Union) Vincent Evans accepted the post of head of Finance but died within a year of amalgamation in late 1946, his death hastened, it was suggested by the work he had put into creating COHSE.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

David Priestley President 1923-1926

David Priestley President

David Priestley joined the union in 1918 as a founder member and was the Poor Law Officers Union President from December 1923 until 1926


He was born in Rochdale, the son of a building contractor who died when he was a child forcing the family into poverty.

he commenced his poor law career commenced at Bradford, Eccleshall Bierlow then the City of London and finally, at Epsom where he was branch chairman. Discibed his trade as "a barber etc from Epsom".

His election as President against Dr William Wiggins in 1923 was a shock, and a post-mortem put Dr Wiggins defeat down to te failure of the union leadership to recruit the hoped for influx of nurses.

he acted as secretary to political associations, shooting clubs, religious bodies a keen athlete and total abstainer from alcohol.

He was considered the "Father" of the Poor law Gazette" (the union's journal) due to his efforts on its behalf.

PLWTU,PLOU,NUCO,H&WSU,COHSE,UNISON

Dr William Wiggins President 1921-1923

Dr William Wiggins

Dr William D Wiggins MRCS LRCP

Joined the Poor Law Workers Trade Union on 25th February 1919, and was therefore one of it’s first members. He was elected as the Poor Law Officers Union vice President in January 1920 and then President from 1921 until 1923.

After leaving St Mary’s Hospital, London Dr Wiggins first appointment was with the Poor Law Guardians at Fulham in 1897. He was then appointed Assistant superintendent at Greenwich in 1898 and promoted to medical superintendent in 1911 a post he held for many years.

Described in the union’s journal as “quiet in manner, somewhat reserved”



NOTE:
The Poor Law Workers Trade Union (1918) became Poor Law Officers Union in 1922, in 1930 the National Union of County Officers and then Hospitals & Welfare Services Union in 1943. later COHSE (1946) and in 1993, UNISON

Herbert Shaw Asst General Secretary NAWU

Herbert Shaw
NAWU & MH&IWU Assistant General Secretary


We record the death of Herbert Shaw, on 14th April 1946, at the age of 69 years, British mental nurses have lost a lovable friend and colleague while this union mourns a pioneer whose lifetime was devoted to the interests of its members. Our sympathy goes to his widow and family; not least to his 94-year-old mother who braved a 100 miles journey to see her son before death brought relief from a painful illness. Herbert Shaw was assistant general secretary for 34 years until he retired in 1946.


Throughout George Gibson's general secretaryship, when Gibson was making a name in national affairs, Herbert Shaw was an able and modest collaborator in a unique trade union partnership.
Both had outstanding but complementary qualifies that were vital to the union's development to its present strength and prestige. Joining Gibson as a victimised branch secretary from Wakefield Asylum (he was dismissed for using the hospital postal system to circulate union propaganda) he brought qualities of administration and sound judgment no less valuable than Gibson's robust orator;'' and vigorous personality.


He had learned much from the union's first general secretary, the Rev. H. M. S.Bankart, a Lancaster hospital chaplain who had also been sacked for his National Asylum Workers Union (NAWU) sympathies. He played a vital role in the 1918 Lancashire Asylum strikes for better pay and conditions at Rainhill, Whittingham, Lancaster and Prestwich Asylums which broke out on 5th September 1918 and the Bodmin stike over the wearing of the union badge which started on 22nd October 1918. later he encouraaged the staff at Radcliffe Asylum to make a stand agaginst pay cuts and longer hours.

For 33 years he was honorary editor of the NAWU & MH&IWU union Journal whose files bear eloquent "testimony to the pride and pains he took in this work—much of which could only be done in leisured moments at home.

Throughout the war and immediate post-war years he laboured under increasing pressure owing to the general secretary's absence on engagements of national importance and during the negotiations for amalgamation with the Health and Welfare Services Union it became apparent that a long and fruitful partnership was doomed to dissolution. Nor was he prepared to take on a fresh partner with the result that as soon as the Confederation became a fait accompli he retired on superannuation.
His resignation implied no disapproval of the merger or its objects to bring All hospital workers into one organisation for in his farewell message printed in the Journal he said : "There is no reason why it should not become the unchallengeable representative body for the Health Services as a whole."

He was a welcome visitor to head office from time to time but his last conference appearance was at Weston-super-Mare in 1947 when he acted as a teller. It is not as a teller of votes that we shall remember him but as a teller of rich anecdotes of trade union struggle and an amateur editor whoma professional was proud to follow.


Representatives of the union who attended the funeral at Manchester included ; Mr. Joe Richards (assistant general secretary), Mr.F. J. Lynch (COHSE national officer), Mr. R.Farthing (COHSE financial officer), Mr. J. Yearsley (auditor), Mr. W. R. T. Booth (solicitor), Mr. F. and Mr. C. Swift (printers), Mr. C.Brooks (editor), Mr. P. H. Robertson (chairman No. 3 Regional Council), Mr. F.Rhodes (secretary Lancashire COHSE Federation of Officers & sub Officers Branches) and Mr. J. Simmons (COHSE Prestwich branch). Others present included Mr. J. H. Bleasdale, president, Mr. W. E. Wall, secretary, and members of Levenshume Private Club.
the week.

Herbert was an ever-present, never absent, never late—everything in order ; nothing left to chance. The foundation upon which our organisation was built owes much to him, and of him we can truly say: Thou good and faithful Servant and Friend.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mark Dubury H&WSU President 1944-1946


Mark Dubury

President Hospitals & Welfare Services Union

It is with deep regret that we have to announce the death of Mark Dubury, a former COHSE National Vice-President and Union Trustee.

Mark Dubury first joined the Poor Law Officers Union in November 1925 and became the first branch secretary of the Southern General Branch. For many years he held the position of either secretary or chairman of the branch.

PLOU later became the Hospitals and Welfare Services Union which in 1946 merged with the Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union to become the Confederation of Health Service Employees.

Mark was National President of the HWSU from 1944 until amalgamation in 1946. "he was the newly-formed COHSE's first national Vice-President.

Mark, a Justice of the Peace for many years, was one of the union's great pioneers who lived a life of service devoted to his fellow men. He became one of the union's trustees after his retirement from the Health Service, and maintained his keen interest in the activities and achievements of the union throughout his life.

His funeral was attended by many friends and relatives, including relatives who had traveled from Austria and Canada. COHSE's General Secretary Albert Spanswick and Finance Officer Bob Farthing attended on behalf of the union

and a floral tribute was sent by the National Executive Committee, officers and staff. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Mrs Dubury and family in their great loss.

Mark Dubury died 1976

(Tribute by Bob Farthing, Financial Officer.)

April 1976 COHSE Journal

NUCO Presidents

Poor Law Workers Trade Union 1918-1922
Poor Law Officers Union 1922-1930
National Union of County Officers 1930-1943
Hospital & Welfare Services Union 1943 -1946

Becomes COHSE Confederation of Health Service Employees 1946 -1993
Becomes UNISON 1993-

Presidents

1918 Mr Wilfred M Hardman (Manchester)

1919 Mr Wilfred M Hardman (Manchester)
1920 Mr Joseph Heaton (Manchester)
1921 Dr William Wiggins (Greenwich)
1922 Dr William Wiggins (Greenwich)
1923 Dr William Wiggins (Greenwich)
1924 Mr David Priestley (Epsom)
1925 Mr David Priestley (Epsom)
1926 Mr David Priestley (Epsom)
1927 Mr Lionel Lunn (Burton)
1928 Mr Lionel Lunn (Burton)
1929 Mr Lionel Lunn (Burton)
1930 Mr Lionel Lunn (Burton)
1931 Mr Archibald Milne (Paddington)
1932 Mr Lionel Lunn (Burton)
1945 Mr Mark Dubury (Southern General, London)
1946 Mr Mark Dubury (Southern General, London)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dr Hyacinth Morgan MP


Dr Hyacinth Bernard Wenceslaus Morgan was born to "poor irish" parents in the West Indies and came to Scotland in 1904 to study medicine at Glasgow University.

While at University he was active in the Fabian Society and founded a students Irish Nationalist Club.

Upon graduting, his medical experience included clinical work at Glagow mental hospitals.

After service in France as a doctor in World War One, he sacrificied prospects of a fine medical career to become a Labour member of parliament

He fist contestead the North Camberwell constituency in 1922, where Dr Macnamara (Liberal) was the sitting MP for the previous 20 years. Morgan contestead the seat again in 1923 (lost by 88 votes) and 1924 before being elected in 1929 with a 2,500 majority.

He did not contest the 1931 general elelection instead he devoted himself to to the cause of Indistrial Medicine and was acknowledged as a pioneer in Industial Medicine.

He was appointed Medical Adviser to the Trades Union Congress, Post office workers Union and numerous British Medical Association committees.

In 1936 Dr Hyacinth Morgan (especially as a Roman Catholic) was central (along with Dr Charles Brook)in the establishment of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee (SMAC) in August 1936 to provide medical aid to the reublican cause in Spain. SMAC's headquarters were at the National Trade Union Club, 24 New Oxford Street, London.

He was re-elected to parliment in a by-election in 1940 for the constituency of Rochdale. In 1950 he switched to Warrington, where he was relected in 1951 but did not seek re-election at the next general election.

He served as a member of the Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE) National Executive Committee and COHSE's Medical Guild from 1946-1951.

Dr Morgan had GP practices at Greenwich, Camberwell and finally Paddington

His wife was a nurse and he had two daughters

Dr H.W.B. Morgan died 1956

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Matron & The Irish Republican Flag 1923


An Irish republican flag belonging to tho Matron of a home for children was discussed by Bradford Board of Guardians recently.

It was decided that if the Matron—referred to as the " foster-mother "—declined to remove the flag she should be dismissed. It was stated that the objection to the flag was not that it was Irish, but that it was a rebel flag.

The British Journal of Nursing 3 February 1923

Photo Irish Transport & General Workers Union (now SIPTU) headquarters of Citizens Army 1916.

Sarah Claridge – A Pioneering Nurse PUTN

Sarah Claridge – A Pioneering Nurse

Professional Union of Trained Nurses

By Doris Westmacott COHSE Journal 1957

The death has occurred in April 1957 of Miss Sarah A. Claridge, R.R.C., at the age of 85. Trained at the Birmingham General Hospital, she was responsible for organising a supply of linguist nurses for the Allied Forces in the 1914-18 war, and held medals from various wars including the Boer War.

Having been in the forefront of the fight for State Registration, she continued to champion the cause of nurses, not only to establish and maintain their status but also to remove injustices and improve conditions.

Miss Claridge was one of the founders of the Professional Union for Trained Nurses and became its President, with Maude MacCallum as Hon. Secretary.

The Professional Union for Trained Nurses (PUTN) was registered under the Trades Union Act and was closely associated with our own Poor Law Workers Union and National Union of Asylum Workers (the two Unions which subsequently became the Hospital and Welfare Services Union and Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union which in turn, amalgamated to form the present Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE).

Miss Claridge was one of our members (NUCO) until just before the end of the last war when she retired from active nursing. We have vivid recollections of her attending our London area nurses' meetings during the fight for Limitation of Hours of Duty and the introduction of the Rushcliffe recommendations. It was through the efforts and support of such as she that the General Nursing Council G.N.C. List of Trained Nurses was established.

Two letters signed by Maude MacCallum on behalf of the Professional Union of Trained Nurses appeared in the Journal of the Poor Law Workers Union (PLWTU) for March, 1921, one condemning a Governor of St. Thomas' Hospital (London) for his speech to the ' nurses expressing disapproval of nurses uniting to form a trades union, and drawing attention to the Treasurer of that hospital (acting on behalf of the College of Nursing now RCN) "thanking the trade union men for the subscriptions they had sent to help organise nurses." In this letter the Matron, Treasurer and the governor were challenged to explain why they could accept trade union money and yet hold that trade unionism for nurses was degrading and undignified.

The second letter refers to the membership figures of the College of Nursing, stating that membership on paper was not indicative of strength, which latter could only be ascertained by the number of up to date paying members. (One seems to hear the echo of these sentiments still).

So a great pioneer of nursing and trade unionism passes. We are proud to have
been associated with Miss Claridge and to have shared her ideals.

We still need many more of her caliber today —in the words of another great woman trade union pioneer, Mary MacArthur, "Lets hold fast to the things they have won."



NOTE

See posting on Maude Macallum Hon Secretary of the Professional Union of Trained Nurses

NUPE Nurses 1937


Nurses Must Organise.

by Arthur Moyle

NUPE Journal October 1937

Nurses, however, must realise that improvements in their conditions of service will come only when they have the good sense to organise, just as other professions have done, through their appropriate trade unions. To do so is neither unprofessional nor revolutionary. It is, in fact, essential to good administration.

There are 32,824 nurses employed in Greater London and there is not 20 per cent. of them effectively organised. The National Union of Public employees (NUPE) has done much to improve conditions of service for nurses, both men and female, in municipal establishments.

Having become conscious of their grievances. Nurses should now realise the need to organise and the power that would ensue to make their profession not only a noble one but an attractive one.

The general discontent amongst nurses and their lack of organisation constitutes N.U.P.E.'s opportunity to render them effective service.' The long hours and low pay of nurses is a menace, and imposes a severe handicap upon our efforts to.

Improve the general standard of conditions of Hospital Staffs. It is urged, therefore, upon all N.U.P.E: membership to rally to our efforts to organise Nurses, and thus make N.U.P.E. the premier organisation for Nurses employed in local government establishments.

What we must aim at is :—

1) A standard minimum of salary scales and conditions of service comparable with other professions.

2) A maximum 48-hour week worked on a straight-duty basis.

3) The complete abolition of unnecessary, childish, irritating restrictions.

4) Probationers to be freed from manual duties irrelevant to nursing by the appointment of women orderlies.

Granted those reforms, there will be plenty of girls of the right type eager to enter the nursing profession.



Note

Arthur Moyle later Labour MP for Birmingham


College of Nursing Ltd (RCN) " A Menace" 1920

CHAIRMAN AND COUNCIL OF COLLEGE OF NURSING, LTD.
INTERFERENCE WITH
LIBERTY OP ACTION OF NURSE MEMBERS.

In reply to a communication sent to the Secretary of the College of Nursing, Ltd. asking if it had officially advised members not to join a trade union, the following letter was

" My dear Sir.—In reply to your letter of the 18th ult., I have to say that Sir Arthur Stanley in a circular letter written as Chairman of the Council of the College of Nursing, stated that it was in his opinion, inadvisable for a nurse who is a member of the College to join a Professional Trade Union. Similar advice has been given at Headquarters to a Nurse who enquired as to membership of the Poor Law Trade Union by which, no doubt, she meant The Poor Law Workers' Trade Union.'

" Yours truly,

" (Signed) M. S. RUNDLE.

Secretary.

This interference with the liberty; of action of nurse members of the College is quite consistent with its usual autocratic government—and is by no means the first time that it has shown its reactionary spirit—

(1) What practically forbade nurses to sign the Petition to the Prime Minister,
asking for the direct representation of organised nurses on the General Nursing Council to be set up in a Nurses' Registration Act; and

(2) Advising nurses to get their Members of Parliament to obstruct (wreck) the Nurses' Registration Bill on the Report Stage in the House of Commons last' June (1919).

The menace to the freedom of the whole Nursing Profession, by the control of
thousands of uninstructed and dependent nurses who are willing to be used against its progress and best interests by this oligarchy, is a very lively danger which must be vigilantly watched, exposed and opposed.



The British journal of Nursing 3rd April 1920

Maude MacCallum - Professional Union of Trained Nurses 1919



Maude MacCallum
Hon Secretary Professional Union of Trained Nurses
Maude MacCallum also known as Miss E Maude MacCallum was the daughter of Mr James W. MacCallum of Dublin and granddaughter of Major John MacCallum of Dover. (her brother being John MacCallum).
Educated at St Margaret’s Hall, Dublin and subsequently entered Trinity College, Dublin, where she took all the course open to women in those days.
She also matriculated at the Royal University of Ireland before entering Nurse Training School at Adelaide Hospital, Dublin.
After obtaining her nursing qualification she joined the Nurses Co-operation then located at 8, New Cavendish Street, London. She also carried out several years war work as a nurse.
She was elected a member of the Committee of the Co-operation and while serving upon it, originated and, with the help of two other far-seeing nurses, carried to a successful conclusion, the scheme for Sickness Benefit Fund and also originated the Benevolent fund , two of the most practical pieces of work for the benefit of Nurses of the Co-operation.
It was a personal experience which led Miss Maude MacCallum in 1919, to found the Professional union of Trained Nurses, (The first nursing union) for which injustice and tyranny touched her own life she realised how defenseless were many of her colleagues under similar conditions, and with unselfishness singleness of purpose she devoted herself thenceforth to the betterment of the conditions of the “working nurse” and to her protection from unqualified competition when trained.
The PUTN was registered as a Trade union in order to ensure that it should always be managed by nurses themselves.
The Professional Union of Trained Nurses worked closely with the Poor Law Workers Trade Union (later NUCO later COHSE) and MacCallun had her own page in the union’s journal “Monthly Notes”
The Nursing Times, then the Journal of the College of Nursing (RCN) referring to the growth in nursing trade unionism stated “Such a society will attract very few of the best nurses”
We believe the debt of gratitude which they owe her will be increasingly appreciated, as the truth of her favorite motto “Who would be free themselves must strike the blow” becomes more and more understood.
In February 1920, Miss Maude MacCallum was appointed a member of the first General Nursing Council (now Nursing & Midwifery Council NMC) by the minister of Health at the time Christopher Addison MP.
During her term of office she upheld the right of nurses to manage their own affairs and opposed medical and lay domination. She consistently voted for, and spoke in support of, proposals for the benefit of the nursing profession and opposed many recommendations of the majority which she considered inimical to its interest, in spite of derision and rudeness.
Speaking at the Scottish Nurses Club at 205 Bath Street, Glasgow on Friday 19th Mach 1920 MacCallum stated “The Professional Union of Trained Nurses must have been a much needed organisastion if one might judge from the bitter attacks made on its organisers.
“Who was afraid of being injured ? . besides, it would not be the nurses themselves who would be hurt by the action, as their conditions were so bad they could hardly be worse; besides, it was not to be expected that so much wrath should be poured forth just to prevent the nurses injuring themselves if they wished to do so. There must be some other interested threatened”.
At the same meeting she also highlighted a historical problem with nurse attitudes to trade unionism “Disabusing the minds of her hearers that trade unionism was synonymous with strikes, which she admitted. It was in her own mind until she went thoroughly into the matter”.
At a meeting of the PUTN on 1st February 1922 at 6 Nottingham Place, it was reported by the Professional Union of Trained Nurses Chairman Mrs Winifrede Paul “seldom have nurses been roused to such a pitch of indignation over anything as they have been at present by the treatment of Mrs Bedford Fenwick and the other independent nurses – including the secretary of the PUTN- have received at the hands of the College of Nursing Ltd”
MacCallun stated in 1923 after the College of Nursing with the help of Sir Alfred Mond Minister of Health had been able to “pack” the General Nursing Council of 1923 to exclude opposition, including Mrs Bedford Fenwick that the PUTN was “The principle thing that stood between them and serfdom”.
The Professional Union of Trained Nurses had by July 1921 established an “Alliance” with the Medico-Political Union (Doctors union). The PUTN was meeting regularly at the Plane Tree Restaurant, 106 Great Russell Street
She suffered from a “corroding disease” (undoubtedly Cancer) which ultimately caused her death, she made no mention of it to her nearest or dearest.
She finally resigned as Honorary Secretary of the Professional Union of Trained Nurses in 1926 on grounds of her health.

Kate L Earp became Chairman and Winifrede Paul Hon Secretary of the Professional Union of Trained Nurses
In her last few days she was nursed at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in Euston and died on the morning of 14th June 1926.
Her service was held at St Pancras Church and was conducted by Rev Prebendary Metcalfe and Rev W.E. Kingsbury Secretary of the Actors Union.
Suspended at the lower end of the coffin was a laurel wreath with roses and a message “in loving remembrance from the PUTN” tied with its colours.


PUTN inaugural meeting 25th October 1919

Notes from various publications incl the British Journal of Nursing
by Michael Walker UNISON

Photo of MacCallum from The British Journal of Nursing July 1926
Read Sarah Claridge PUTN and NUCO posting on this site
Kate L Earp (was this Mrs Atherton Earp ? trained at Crumpsall Infirmary, Manchester, child welfare Paris, Educational organiser Infant Welfare Centre, Hampstead,)

Professional Union of Trained Nurses established in 1920 with 268 members. The union ceased to exist by 1930

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Frank Lynch Gen Sec Review of 1971


Frank Lynch General Secretary Review of COHSE 1971

1971 was an eventful year for COHSE. It was an exciting year, a year of great activity and a year of progress. We had difficulties but we also had successes. As the year ended it could be said that the Confederation was stronger in membership and finance than ever before.

We were not able fully to implement our policy of two officers for each region. But we are much nearer the goal. Perhaps we will achieve it in 1972.

Our membership has increased considerably and although as I write I am not able to give the final figure it is obvious that our total membership will far exceed 100,000. Many reasons may be given for our success but to me there is only one. the loyalty and hard work of branch officers and key members must be the main factor. Together with the activities of our officers and the attention that is given to all matters affecting the membership, this has created the confidence in COHSE which is now reflected in these greater numbers.

During the year we concentrated on service to members and every effort was made to ensure that important information was circulated quickly and in detail. In one respect, however, we were not successful - the Journal. Due to problems completely outside our control Journal distribution broke down hopelessly. We did our best to remedy the defect but this was not possible.

I suppose we received more letters on this subject than on any other single matter and eventually we had to make a complete change by seeking a different printer. The first issue under the new regime was the December Journal. In addition wedecided on a fresh look and we hope that its new look will please members and, what is more important, that Journals will be delivered on time.

We have given very serious consideration to our printed matter. This should reflect a good image. We hope to introduce a new look in our literature beginning in February.

Following the decision of Conference we were able to make a start on providing cars for our officers. This has had a good effect and we will continue until our programme is complete.

New offices are being acquired in our regions. The first to be opened was in No. 3 Region, followed very closely by a new office in No. 4. These offices provide better accommodation for officers and staff, and, again, present a better image. This is the pattern we hope to continue. We have hidden our light under a bushel for too long.

We are playing a much greater part in negotiations under the leadership of Mr. Spanswick and Mr. Williams and our officers are frequently called upon to lecture to management courses. This is some recognition of their capacity to deal with the vast problems which are arising from the change in the service.

In education we are making progress and more of our officers and individual members are being given the opportunity to attend courses designed by the TUC and the Department of Health specifically for staff employed in the public service. In addition we are acquiring modern equipment, both at head office and in the regions, to ensure greater efficiency and improved service to our members.

Our legal service to members has brought many advantages to those who have had the need. We have been successful in many cases and, no doubt, those who have had recourse to our legal service have blessed the day they decided to join COHSE.

We have had a busy year. There has been much hard work by all concerned and we still have a lot to do. We cannot rest on our oars and we will continue to strive to achieve the best we can. It is not going to be easy particularly in the field of negotiation. The present Government policy on wage restraint will be difficult to overcome but we must fight to get justice for those who are employed in the Health Service.

The greatly increased membership will help. Whatever the philosophers may say, Might is still Right in this competitive world and our people have suffered for too long under this policy. We ask for a fair deal. The National Health Service is worth-while but it must not be provided at the expense of those who staff it.

On behalf of COHSE I wish to express thanks and appreciation to members, branch officers and staff who have made 1971 so memorable and I look to 1972 with confidence.
A Happy New Year to you all.

Frank Lynch COHSE General Secretary

Monday, July 17, 2006

Claude Bartlett – COHSE President



Claude Bartlett – COHSE President

An appreciation, by Frank Lynch

It is always distressing to write about the death of an old comrade, yet it is right and proper that respects should be paid.

Claude Bartlett died on Saturday, 1st April 1972 at his home in Ivybridge, nr Plymouth, South Devon, at the age of 74. He was a remarkable yet unassuming man. He entered the hospital service at an early age and joined the Asylum Workers Union in 1919 and became active in the local branch. In 1927 he was elected President of the Union (taking over from Mr E.R. Blackburn) and he was re-elected without a break until he retired in 1962, a period of 35 years. For this period he was the local branch secretary at the hospital where he was employed as a charge nurse. In 1946 he presided over the amalgamation discussions and was elected again as President of the new Union which he helped to create the Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE).

I first met Claude Bartlett at the Amalgamation Dinner in the Queen's Hotel, Manchester, in December 1946, following the joint meeting of the two National Executive Committees. He was never a talkative man and he will be best known by the excellent manner in which he presided over Delegate Conference, where his brisk and objective approach was most evident.

When George Gibson retired as General Secretary of the Union in 1948, Mr. Bartlett was appointed to the vacant seat on the TUC General Council and at the
Congress later in that year he was elected in his own right by a substantial vote. It is not often that a lay member of a union is able to secure election to that august body but Claude Bartlett went even further.

In 1959 he was elected as President of the TUC and it could be that he was the only person who was not a full-time trade union officer to be so honoured. His conduct of Congress brought him many tributes at the end of his term of office.

In 1962, after a long and eventful career he decided to retire, having been awarded the CBE in 1960. At a small gathering of the National Executive Committee and invited guests held in London to mark his retirement, he said: "They have been 35 happy years, crammed full of incident and endeavor and it is a profound gratification to know that my humble efforts have been so widely and generously recognised."

Goodbye Claude, let those words be your epitaph.

Sammy Lee, COHSE Life Member, writes: "I was grieved to learn of the demise of Claude Bartlett our President for many years. "I recall the many conferences of our Union he presided over. "I feel sure something rubbed off from him that made all who came into contact with him a better person. "It makes me proud to have known him."

NOTE :

Claude Bartlett held the position of Ivbridge Branch President for 35 years

He stood as a candidate in local District elections 1925, failed at his first attempt but elected to Parish council

Branch Secretary Plymouth branch circa 1926

His wife was killed by a driver on
December 17th 1963

First NAWU branch Secretary at Devon Mental Hospital Mr George H Hobson

Exminister Asylum NAWU branch established 1911

Cotford Asylum branch of NAWU established 1914

Plymouth Asylum branch of NAWU established 1917

Bodmin Asylum branch of NAWU established 1918

Devizes Asylum branch of NAWU established 1911

Frederick Le Gros Clark - Malnutrition

Obituary: Bill Clark

We record with regret the death of Frederick Le Gros Clark on 22 September 1977 at the age of 85.(born 1892) Known to his friends as "Bill" he was closely associated with the LRD for many years. At the end of the first world war he lost a hand and was blinded in both eyes. This did not prevent him from becoming a distinguished social scientist. He was one of the foremost leaders in the struggle against hunger during the 1930s.


Early on he helped to found the Committee against malnutrition, a body composed of doctors and scientists which fought to expose the truth about the widespread under-nourishment which prevailed. Articles and pamphlets published by the LRD in the early thirties under titles such as Social Murder and Standards of Starvation owed much to his expert help, and in 1936 he was co-opted as a member of the LRD Executive Committee. For the following three years, 1937,1938 and 1939 he was re-elected to the executive and continued as a persistent and regular attender until the bombing in the summer of 1940 made it difficult to get into
London.

There-after he did not stand for re-election to the Executive but continued his close collaboration; for example, he served on an informal committee of experts which met at the LRD to examine the implications of the Beveridge Report in 1942. By this time he was secretary of the Children's Nutrition Council and later carried out some important studies of the school meals service, civic restaurants etc.

In later years he turned his attention to the problems of old age. This is not the place to list his numerous publications but two in particular made considerable impact and added greatly to our understanding: Ageing in Industry (1955) and
Work, Age and Leisure (1966).
He will be remembered as a man who succeeded in making a notable contribution to the fight for higher living standards.

Labour Research November 1977

NOTE
He was also a key national committee member of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee established
1st August 1936

Books on Evacation of children during the war for the Fabians to Left Book
F. Le Gros Clark and Ida The Adventures of the Little Pig and Other Stories and books on Soviet Medicine

Formation of SMAC by Dr Charles Brook

Extract from

Making Medical History circa 1946

By Dr Charles Brook (COHSE , GP, LCC member)

The other activity with which the Socialist Medical Association was so closely associated and which, without the help of the Association would never have achieved such success, was the establishment of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee. My friend, Arthur Peacock, has given an excellent account of
the development and the achievements of the Committee in his recently
published book "Yours Fraternally". Let me quote one paragraph.

“One afternoon in July I had a visit from Dr Charles Brook, General Practioner & L.C.C member who was Secretary of the Socialist Medical Association. “Do you think, Charles asked me “it would be a good idea if we Socialist Doctors sent some medical supplies to Spain as a gesture of sympathy and good fellowship”. I told him that I thought it would be magnificent and promised to let him have a room at the National trade Union Club on the following Saturday afternoon so that he and his friends might discuss the project”.

Actually it was at lunch-time on. Friday, July 31st that I discussed the matter with Clifford Troke, and immediately afterwards there was the conversation with Arthur Peacock. The meeting I convened for the following afternoon by hurriedly written postcards and by telephone calls, was very well attended despite the fact that it was the Saturday prior to August Bank Holiday. (SMAC established 1st August) , .

After I had made a statement setting out ray reasons for convening the meeting it was there and then decided to constitute "The Spanish Medical Aid Committee" and although I was hopeful that I might then be allowed to retire into the background the Honorary Secretaryship was thrust upon me.

The majority of the Committee were members of the S.M.A. Christopher
Addison was the president, H.B. Morgan as Chairman , and Somerville-Hastings the Vice-Chairman. Among the other medical members were Harry Boyde, Michael Elyan, J.A. Gillison LCC, D’Arcy Hart, Tudor Hart, S.W. Jeger, R.L. Worrall and Prof J. R. Marrack. Non-Medical members included Ellen Wilkinson,, Leah Manning, Isabel .Brown, Arthur Peacock, and the Joint-Treasurers, Viscount Churchill and Viscountess Hastings, (now the Hon. Mrs Wogan- Phillips). Lord Addison was not called upon to take a very active part in the work of the Committee, but he showed great courage when, contrary to the advice tendered by some people in high places, he presided at a great meeting at the Albert Hall in Support of the Work of the Committee.

As Chairman H. B. Morgan proved himself to be an extremely able and tactful negotiator. Being a roman catholic he was able to neutralise the powerful pro-Franco elements in his Church, while as Medical Adviser to the T.U.C. he was an invaluable go-between when certain awkward situations arose.

Somerville-Hastings, I was especially indebted. Many volunteers came into the Committees office to lend a hand, but it was impossible to check their bona-fides and as much of my correspondence was strictly confidential, I was in urgent need of a private secretary. When I put the position to Somerville Hastings, he immediately handed, me £25 on order help defray the cost, without it being a charge on the Committees funds.

Within a few day’s of the Committee being established, the public response was so generous and there were so many volunteers for service in Spain that my original idea of sending some medical supplies was replaced by a far more ambitious project the dispatching of a fully-equipped and adequately staffed Medical Unit to the battle front.

Soon after this project was agreed to, I made up my mind that the first-British Medical Unit had got to be ready to leave by Sunday, 23rd August 1936, and on that day thousands of Londoners were stirred by the sight of a procession of vehicles going from the Committee's Headquarters to Victoria Station, where in the presence of a vast crowd and many London Mayors, Arthur Greenwood and. Alan Findlay, then Chairman of the General Council of the T.U.C. delivered valedictory speeches.

This was just three weeks after the Spanish Medical Aid Committee had been constituted and it was the first real practical demonstration of support for the Spanish Republicans which sympathisers in the country had provided.

I remained as Honorary Secretary, of the Committee until the end of 1936 when George Jeger, now M.P. for Winchester, was appointed full-time Organising Secretary, I was able to relinquish my office,

Extract from

Making Medical History circa 1946

By Dr Charles Brook (COHSE , GP, LCC member)

The other activity with which the Socialist Medical Association was so closely associated and which, without the help of the Association would never have achieved such success, was the establishment of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee. My friend, Arthur Peacock, has given an excellent account of
the development and the achievements of the Committee in his recently
published book "Yours Fraternally". Let me quote one paragraph.

“One afternoon in July I had a visit from Dr Charles Brook, General Practioner & L.C.C member who was Secretary of the Socialist Medical Association. “Do you think, Charles asked me “it would be a good idea if we Socialist Doctors sent some medical supplies to Spain as a gesture of sympathy and good fellowship”. I told him that I thought it would be magnificent and promised to let him have a room at the National trade Union Club on the following Saturday afternoon so that he and his friends might discuss the project”.

Actually it was at lunch-time on. Friday, July 31st that I discussed the matter with Clifford Troke, and immediately afterwards there was the conversation with Arthur Peacock. The meeting I convened for the following afternoon by hurriedly written postcards and by telephone calls, was very well attended despite the fact that it was the Saturday prior to August Bank Holiday. (SMAC established 1st August) , .

After I had made a statement setting out ray reasons for convening the meeting it was there and then decided to constitute "The Spanish Medical Aid Committee" and although I was hopeful that I might then be allowed to retire into the background the Honorary Secretaryship was thrust upon me.

The majority of the Committee were members of the S.M.A. Christopher
Addison was the president, H.B. Morgan as Chairman , and Somerville-Hastings the Vice-Chairman. Among the other medical members were Harry Boyde, Michael Elyan, J.A. Gillison LCC, D’Arcy Hart, Tudor Hart, S.W. Jeger, R.L. Worrall and Prof J. R. Marrack. Non-Medical members included Ellen Wilkinson,, Leah Manning, Isabel .Brown, Arthur Peacock, and the Joint-Treasurers, Viscount Churchill and Viscountess Hastings, (now the Hon. Mrs Wogan- Phillips). Lord Addison was not called upon to take a very active part in the work of the Committee, but he showed great courage when, contrary to the advice tendered by some people in high places, he presided at a great meeting at the Albert Hall in Support of the Work of the Committee.

As Chairman H. B. Morgan proved himself to be an extremely able and tactful negotiator. Being a roman catholic he was able to neutralise the powerful pro-Franco elements in his Church, while as Medical Adviser to the T.U.C. he was an invaluable go-between when certain awkward situations arose.

Somerville-Hastings, I was especially indebted. Many volunteers came into the Committees office to lend a hand, but it was impossible to check their bona-fides and as much of my correspondence was strictly confidential, I was in urgent need of a private secretary. When I put the position to Somerville Hastings, he immediately handed, me £25 on order help defray the cost, without it being a charge on the Committees funds.

Within a few day’s of the Committee being established, the public response was so generous and there were so many volunteers for service in Spain that my original idea of sending some medical supplies was replaced by a far more ambitious project the dispatching of a fully-equipped and adequately staffed Medical Unit to the battle front.

Soon after this project was agreed to, I made up my mind that the first-British Medical Unit had got to be ready to leave by Sunday, 23rd August 1936, and on that day thousands of Londoners were stirred by the sight of a procession of vehicles going from the Committee's Headquarters to Victoria Station, where in the presence of a vast crowd and many London Mayors, Arthur Greenwood and. Alan Findlay, then Chairman of the General Council of the T.U.C. delivered valedictory speeches.

This was just three weeks after the Spanish Medical Aid Committee had been constituted and it was the first real practical demonstration of support for the Spanish Republicans which sympathisers in the country had provided.

I remained as Honorary Secretary, of the Committee until the end of 1936 when George Jeger, now M.P. for Winchester, was appointed full-time Organising Secretary, I was able to relinquish my office,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Spanish Medical Aid Committee estb 1st August 1936

Formation of the British SMAC

Spanish Medical Aid Committee was established on 1st August 1936

The enthusiasm and selflessness of everyone helping was such that in less than two weeks the preparatory work was complete, and on Sunday evening, August 23rd the first British Medical Unit for Spain (The first from any country) left Victoria, led by Viscount Churchill (Hon. Treasurer of the Committee), with Kenneth Sinclair-Loutit as Administrator.

Tremendous interest was aroused by its departure, and great crowds gathered at Victoria Station, 10,000 more marched from Hyde Park and paraded past the young men and women as they stood in Buckingham Palace Road. At the Station the Rt. Hon. Arthur Greenwood, M.P., representing the Labour Party, and Allan A. Findlay, representing the T.U.C. General Council, Lord Latham of the LCC and the Mayors of six London Borough's wished " Godspeed " to the men and women who so courageously were setting out to help the wounded on the battlefields of Spain.

Continuously since then the Committee has carried on its activities. Meetings, demonstrations, social functions have been organised all over the country. A net-work of local committees has been formed to assist with the vital task of rousing public sympathy and raising money.

Over £44,000 has been collected, and it has all been spent supplying the various necessities for which requests have been made by those directing the medical services in Spain. That so large a sum has been collected is a striking

tribute to the feeling of solidarity existing between the people of Spain and Great Britain.

Almost every week ambulances, medical supplies or additional personnel have gone out to the hospitals of Spain.

Wherever help has been sought it has been gladly given; wherever medical aid has been requested it has been promptly sent.

NOTE

SMAC Committee 1937

(Dr Charles Brook (GP & COHSE) as Secretary, Dr Hyacinth Morgan as Chairman, Dr Christopher Addison MP as President, Dr Somerville-Hastings as Vice Chairman, , Isaobel Brown, Lady Hastings, Prof J.R. Marrack, Dr Philip D'Arcy Hart, Ellen Wilkinson MP, Leah Manning Pres of NUT, Arthur Pocock, Lord Farringdon, Frederick Le Gros Clark. Headquarters of SMAC at the Trade Union Club 24 New Oxford Street, London, WC1



From booklet Medical Aid For Spain circa 1937

Isle of Man COHSE estb April 1956


COHSE Isle of Man


The Confederation of Health service (COHSE) branch on the Isle of Man was established in April 1956. It’s first COHSE Branch Secretary being Mr B. M. Wadsley.

Regular visits during its formative years came from Regional Secretary Fred Green, Mrs Kath Daly COHSE Women’s Officer and in 1958 from Assistant COHSE General Secretary J. Richards.

The initial membership was primarily at Ballamona Hospital must soon spread to Noble hospital after an organising campaign by Miss Kath Daly but seems to have run into opposition to the recruitment of nurses from the Matron.

Norman Counsell was also key in organising staff into COHSE at the Jane Crookall Maternity Hospital

In 1957 COHSE had recievied full recognition on the Isle of Man Joint Negotiating Machinery

COHSE Regional Secretary Fred Green won a major victory for over 100 staff (84 ancillary and 24 admin) at Noble hospital, by securing Whitley Council rates of pay (national UK pay rates). The successful tribunal ruling allowed Whitley pay as of 21st November 1959

By 1966 the Isle of Man COHSE branch could claim 248 members

In 1969 Mrs E Wasley (wife of the Branch secretary) had been elected vice president of the Isle of Man Trades Council (The first time women has been elected to this postion). It was reported in 1970 that “one of the feature of the Isle of Man COHSE branch is the keen intrest of women members who formed a large percentage”

Bill Cubbon of Ballymena, retired in 1975 after twenty five years work and after sixteen years as the Chair of the Isle of Man COHSE branch


NOTE
NUPE did not recruit on the Isle of Man



Michael Walker UNISON

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Spanish Civil War 1937 - MH&IWU

Labour and Spain.

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN OF DEMONSTRATIONS 1937

"Freedom, Food and Justice—End Fascist Intervention in Spain," is the slogan of a special Campaign of Mass Demonstrations planned by the Labour Party's Spain Campaign Committee.

The central purposes of the campaign are to demand the withdrawal of foreign troops from Spain and the restoration to the Spanish Government' of its freedom

to buy arms, and to assist in relieving the acute food shortage and the distress which afflicts vast numbers of Spanish refugees.

Demonstrations will be held in Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, South Wales, Leeds, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

In addition a large number of local meetings will be organised at which national speakers will take part.

The campaign will be conducted on a large scale and with intensive effort, and will conclude with- a great central demonstration in London to be held in the Albert Hall on 19th December 1937. The list of speakers will be Mr. George Dallas (Chairman of the National Executive) in the Chair, Mr. Clem. R. Attlee, M.P., Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Stafford Cripps, M.P., Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., Mr. Ernest Bevin, Mrs. Barbara Ayrton Gould, and Miss Ellen Wilkinson, M.P.

Mental Health & Institutional Workers Union Journal September 1937

MH&IWU Conference 1937

Resolution on Spanish Civil War

"That this Annual Conference expresses its abhorrence of the continued participation by organised units of the Fascist and Nazi Forces in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Spanish Rebels; expresses its horror at the indiscriminate bombing and shelling of open villages and towns, as a consequence of which women and children are being slaughtered in the holocaust of war, and demands that the Government shall bring this matter to the notice of the League of Nations with a view to organised intervention [on behalf of the legitimate Spanish Government."

George Gibson General Secretary :In moving this resolution I do not propose to discuss the merits or demerits of the various forms of Government in Spain, or of the differences existing in regard to the question. What I want to do is to express what I think is the Union's unanimous view and the view of every decent- minded person in this country (the opinions of the other type of person are not of much value), that it is a horrible thing that the organised intervention of Fascist countries in the internal affairs of Spain has resulted in the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent women and children.

War, of necessity, is a terrible thing and must, and always will, involve cruel suffering on the part of tile people, but when the modern weapons of destruction are deliberately used against non-combatants, as they were at Guernica and Almeria, it is time for decent people to express their disgust at this method of trying to terrorise one's opponents ; and, whatever be the merits or demerits of the Spanish conflict, it is an undeniable fact that the Government of Spain was the duly elected Government of the people and that those who took up arms against it are, in tact, rebels, whether they have titles, honours, or military distinctions attached to their names. Now, all of us, I believe, wish to see the Spanish Government victorious.

Some may differ on certain aspects of the conflict, but I ask you, whatever your differences may be on this matter, to support the resolution.

Mr. Scovell, (Whitecroft) : I second the resolution and would point out that the fight which the Spanish Government and people are putting up for the maintenance of democratic rule is as much our battle as theirs.

Mr Bond (Springfield, Tooting, London) : We welcome this resolution. Too long has the Spanish Government been left unprotected. The so-called "non-intervention" has, in practice, allowed the Fascist armies to invade Spain. The rebels have been supplied with bombers, machine-guns and war material of all kinds.

The same sort of thing happened in the trouble between China and Japan and, if it is not checked, this Fascist intervention in other countries' affairs will cause war to sweep across Europe like a prairie fire. I believe the same brand of Fascism could come into England. Fascism is not a foreign thing, it is the same all over the world. It now seeks to overthrow the constitutionally elected Government of Spain ; and I will go so far as to say that, if there were a Labour or Socialist Government in this country, determined to carry out its stated programme, Capitalism would not hesitate to resort to Fascism to oust it. I am pleased to see that the National Council of Labour has at last urged action and, believe me, action is needed. Meetings of protest should be held all over the country, in the halls and in the streets, to force the Government to abandon its present one-sided policy of non-intervention, and to restore to the Spanish Republican Government its legal right to buy arms abroad.

Mr Hallinson(St. Bernard's, Southall) : I ask you to accept as an addendum to the resolution after the word " Intervention" in the last line: " On behalf of the legitimate Spanish Government." —(Agreed). It is time our movement became more active in its support of the Spanish Republican Government. I looked through the June issue of our Journal and never a word was said about the Spanish situation, the outcome of which is of such vital importance to peace-loving people. More should be written in the Union Journal about it to create interest among our members and to enlist their support for our comrades fighting the battle of democracy in Spain.

The Resolution was Carried Unanimously.

Mental Health & Institutional Workers Union August 1937

MHIWU later became COHSE and in 1993 Unison