Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Tanks and soldiers in Saltmarket area of Glasgow in the days following 'Bloody Friday', Feb 1919

image from Red Clydeside collection

Photograph showing tanks and soldiers billeted in the Saltmarket area of Glasgow in the weeks following the battle of George Square on 31 January 1919. Government fears over heightened political and industrial tensions following the battle of George Square led to the deployment of troops and tanks on the streets of Glasgow.

An estimated total of 10,000 English troops were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of the battle of George Square. This was in spite of a full battalion of Scottish soldiers being stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time.

No Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing that fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers' side if a revolutionary situation developed in Glasgow. English troops were transported from England and stationed in Glasgow specifically to combat this possible scenario.