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

Key political figures of the Red Clydeside period

William Gallacher

William Gallacher was leader of the Clyde Workers' Committee (CWC), and in his role as CWC chairman was imprisoned for sedition in 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 converted to communism, and on his return to Britain played an influential role in the formation of the Communist Party of Great Britain. In 1935 Gallacher was elected as Communist MP for West Dunfermline and served this constituency as MP until 1950.

image thumbnail Cover of booklet entitled 'Direct Action: An outline of workshop and social organisation' by William Gallacher and J. R. Campbell.
Cover of booklet entitled 'The Communist Party on Trial: Wm. Gallacher's defence and Judge Rigby Swift's summing up' published by the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1926. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Cover of 'The Worker - Organ of the Clyde Workers' Committee' dated 29 January 1916. Cover contains article by CWC leader William Gallacher.
Photograph of David Kirkwood being detained by police in the aftermath of the Battle of George Square on 31 January 1919 (Bloody Friday), with fellow CWC leader William Gallagher in the background. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Postcard showing the 12 Communist Party officials put on trial for seditious libel and incitement to mutiny in 1925. Published by the International Class War Prisoners' Aid.
Photograph of 14 delegates at the 2nd Moscow Congress of the Third International. Those shown include William Gallacher, John Reed and Sylvia Pankhurst. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Cover of booklet entitled 'Direct Action' published by the Scottish Workers' Committees in 1919
Photograph of William Gallacher and fellow workers at Albion Motor Company, Scotstoun, Glasgow, in 1911. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Portrait photograph of William Gallacher, leader of the Clyde Workers' Committee and leading member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
Front page of Emergency Press dated 13 May 1926. The Emergency Press was a joint publication of the three large Glasgow based newspapers, published and distributed during the General Strike. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Group photograph of William Gallacher and friends.
William Gallacher pictured with friends during his time working in Chicago, America. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Photograph of William Gallacher taken as he left the London HQ of the CPGB.
Photograph of David Kirkwood's arrest during 'Bloody Friday' with Willie Gallacher in the background with bandaged head. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Photograph showing William Gallacher's funeral procession passing through George Street, Paisley in 1965.
Class photograph taken at St.Mirren Primary school in Paisley and featuring the young William Gallacher, taken sometime between 1890 and 1893. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Cover of booklet entitled "Willie Gallacher's story: the Clyde in wartime: sketches of a stormy period".
Cover of booklet entitled 'Can Labour Govern?' by William Gallacher, published by the Communist Party of Great Britain. image thumbnail
image thumbnail Three page typescript petition addressed to Sir. Robert Munro, Secretary of State for Scotland requesting release CWC leaders arrested on 'Bloody Friday'.
Original warrant summons issued to Maxton, Shinwell, Maclean and other speakers following anti-conscription demonstration in Glasgow. image thumbnail