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


Cartoon entitled 'Enlist!', 5 Dec 1914

image from Red Clydeside collection

The outbreak of war in 1914 was greeted in Britain, as in many other places, with great public enthusiasm and was seen as a blow to those on the left who believed in the idea of workers solidarity and in the ability of organized labour to stand against war.

This believe had proved to be an impotent myth as the war saw the major social democratic parties of Germany, France, and Britain rush to the defence of their fatherlands.

The British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener was able to tap into a potent mixture of local civic pride, national patriotism and a sense of belonging to a community in order to encourage young men to enlist and initially at least anti-war voices were drowned in a wave of patriotic fervour.

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