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


Cartoon entitled 'Forward turns the spotlight on the robbers', 24 July 1915

image from Red Clydeside collection

Anti-capitalist cartoon published in the socialist weekly newspaper 'Forward'. The cartoon reflects the anger and revulsion felt by many British socialists at the massive profits being made by British capitalists involved in the manufacture of armaments.

The carton portrays the profiteering industrialists as akin to grave robbers, making huge profits out of war and death at the same time as tens of thousands of ordinary British working class soldiers were being killed in the service of their country.

At the outset of the war many industrialists did not expect to be closely involved in the war effort, however this changed within the first few months of the war with the soaring demand for weapons and ammunition of all kinds.
This demand was met ostensibly by manufacturers in shipbuilding and engineering. Unsurprisingly, the war time demand for weapons and ammunition was found to be very profitable with ever increasing amounts of government contracts filling the order books.

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