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


William Gallacher, leader of the Clyde Workers' Committee, 1919

image from Red Clydeside collection

Portrait photograph of William Gallacher, leader of the Clyde Workers' Committee (CWC) and leading member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). Prior to 1920 Gallacher was a supporter of syndicalism and the tactics of direct action, and was one of the key figures in the LWC and CWC during 1914-1919.

In his role as Chairman of the CWC he was imprisoned for sedition after the dilution disputes of 1916 and again for incitement to riot after the events of Bloody Friday in 1919.

After attending the Third International in Moscow in 1920 as a CWC delegate Gallacher was converted to communism, and on his return to Britain played an influential role in the formation of the CPGB. In 1935 Gallacher was elected as Communist MP for West Dunfermline and served this constituency as MP until 1950. He was elected chairman of the CPGB in 1943.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives