Vintage: General Strike in London, United Kingdom (1926)

Vintage: General Strike in London, United Kingdom (1926)


The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted 9 days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for 800,000 locked-out coal miners. Some 1.7 million workers went out, especially in transport and heavy industry. The government was prepared and enlisted middle class volunteers to maintain essential services. There was little violence and the TUC gave up in defeat. In the long run, there was little impact on trade-union activity or industrial relations.

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Hundreds of volunteer workers in the mess room of the Empress and Queens Hall, Earls Court, during the General Strike. (Photo by Kirby/Getty Images)

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Oxford University Student Volunteers during the General Strike in an aggressive pose. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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A commuter rollerskates to work, complete with lunch, in an effort to beat the General Strike. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

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Special constables being issued with truncheons during the General Strike at Hornsey, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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Congestion along the Embankment, London, at the time of the General Strike. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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A policeman rides beside a volunteer bus driver during the General Strike, 6th May 1926. There is barbed wire round the bonnet to stop strikers getting at the driver of the bus which belongs to the London General Omnibus Co (LGOC). (Photo by E. Bacon/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images).

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Troops in Hyde Park, London, during the general strike, 4th May 1926. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images).

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An independent bus crammed with commuters at Ludgate Circus, London, during the General Strike, 4th May 1926. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images).

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Police questioning sandwich-board carriers during a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London at the time of the general strike. (Photo by Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images).

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Strikers attacking a volunteer worker at Kings Cross during the General Strike. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images).

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A burnt out bus in a London street during the General Strike. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images).

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Army drivers taking a break in Hyde Park, Central London where they are acting as reinforcements during public demonstrations relating to the National Strike. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images).

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An army escort leading a food convoy through Holborn, Central London during the National Strike. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images).


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