William Gallacher

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Gallacher, William


Born Dec. 25, 1881, in Paisley, Scotland; died there Aug. 12, 1965. A figure in the British and international workers’ movement. Born into a working-class family.

From the age of 10, Gallacher worked for hire. By trade he was a brass-founder. Beginning in his adolescent years Gallacher was an active participant in the socialist movement. He was a member of the Independent Labour Party, then of the Social Democratic Federation, and after 1911 of the British Socialist Party. Gallacher was active in the trade union movement. In 1915 he founded the Clyde Workers Committee, later the Scottish Workers Committees. During World War I (1914-18), Gallacher headed a mass movement of shop stewards in factories and plants and was one of the best known strike organizers among the Scottish shipbuilding and mine workers. He was arrested several times and sent to prison.

In 1920, Gallacher represented the industrial shop stewards’ movement at the Second Congress of the Comintern in Moscow. Under the influence of V. I. Lenin, he firmly adopted Marxist views. In 1921 he entered the Communist Party of Great Britain, in the same year becoming a member of the party’s Central Committee and Politburo. Gallacher was one of the organizers of the revolutionary “minority movement” that arose in the English trade unions in 1924. From 1935 to 1950 he was a member of Parliament. Between 1943 and 1956 he was president of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain; between 1956 and 1963, president of the party; and after 1963, life honorary member of the Executive Committee of the party.


Revolt on the Clyde: An Autobiography. London, 1936.
The Rolling of the Thunder. London, 1947.
The Case for Communism. Harmondsworth [1949].
“Rise Like Lions.” London, 1951. (Memoirs.)
The Tyrant’s Might Is Passing. London, 1954.
The Last Memoirs of W. Gallacher. London, 1966.


Essays in Honour of W. Gallacher. Birmingham, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Leathem, 31, wore a crumpled grey tracksuit for his closed-door hearing before Sheriff William Gallacher on the murder charge.
Sheriff William Gallacher said: "I am satisfied that this is a case that I should refer to the High Court.
Sheriff William Gallacher responded: "Hopefully not Rn his canoe.
Sheriff William Gallacher told her: "The ability for you to control your car at that excessive speed was almost non existent.
NIGHT OWLS: (Above, from left) Chris Wilson, Alan Mozie, Ricky Randle, William Gallacher and Brendan Smith
Sheriff William Gallacher warned her she had behaved in a "disgraceful manner".
All very convincing and sheriff William Gallacher gave her one last chance.
At Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff William Gallacher said he wouldn't jail him due to his clean record and sentenced him to 240 hours of unpaid work and a year's supervision.
Sheriff William Gallacher told Hunter: "This was a simply disgraceful act as paramedics were trying to save a child.