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


David Kirkwood on the ground after being struck by police batons, 31 Jan 1919

image from Red Clydeside collection

The events that would lead to Bloody Friday and the fierce rioting between police and protesters began while a Clyde Workers' Committee (CWC) deputation was in the city chambers meeting with the Lord Provost of Glasgow.

On hearing the ensuing riot that was taking place in George Square between the police and protesters, CWC leaders David Kirkwood and Emanuel Shinwell moved outside to attempt to quell the riot. Before they could reach the crowds outside Kirkwood was batoned to the ground by police, and both he and Shinwell were arrested.

Both men later appeared in court alongside William Gallacher, who was also arrested on Bloody Friday. Both Gallacher and Shinwell were sentenced to five months imprisonment, while Kirkwood was found not guilty.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives