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 ?
Emanuel Shinwell, leader of the British Seafarers' Union, and Willie Gallacher, a communist activist, played major roles in the strike campaign and were culpable in inciting racist fervour.
The work will showcase Renfrewshire's history - including Willie Gallacher, a Red Clydeside MP born in the scheme.
In the 1945 general election, the Communist Party of Great Britain won two seats, including Willie Gallacher, whose constituency included Ballingry.
Stoddart has campaigned for statues of other local heroes, notably Willie Gallacher, the Communist M.P., and that excellent architect Thomas Tait.
Regrettably it is exceptionally full of typographical errors--for example, Willie Gallacher's name is consistently misspelled (though not with perfect consistency), as is even Ramsay MacDonald's.
Walton Newbold; Shapurji Saklatvala; Philip Piratin; and Willie Gallacher. The solitary peer, Wogan Philipps (Lord Milford) was a negligible figure in the House of Lords, not even deemed worthy of a mention in this book.
Retired insurance broker Willie Gallacher, 70, has designed an air powered generator which he says can produce enough energy to propel a car at up to 90 mph.
Right-half Frank Brodie returned to Vics after a spell at St Mirren and winger Willie Gallacher after a spell at Motherwell.
Names like Willie Gallacher, MP for West Fife, and JTW Newbold, once Motherwell MP.
As revealed in the Express, film maker Alex Cathcart is making a feature about Willie Gallacher, who rose to become Britain's first Communist MP.
I am an old man and remember with pride Big John MacLean, who was jailed, humiliated and abused and died a broken man, Willie Gallacher, even fellows I worked with - John Gormley, Micky Divers, etc - who fought to give us working conditions we all enjoy.