Dead Socialist Watch, #264

William Anderson, socialist politician. An activist in the Shop Assistants’ Union and an ILPer, he served as chairman of the party, 1910-13. He married Mary Reid Macarthur of the National Federation of Women Workers in 1911 (who really ought to be in this Dead Socialist Watch, and is going into the database right now). Opposed to the war, he was elected to Parliament for a Sheffield seat in December 1914 and in July 1917 called for the introduction to Britain of soldiers’ and workers’ councils on the model of the Russian soviets. Defeated in the 1919 election, along with other opponents of the war, he caught pneumonia and died shortly afterwards. Born at Findon, Banffshire, Scotland, 13 February 1877; died in London, 25 February 1919.


Tribune reminds me that it’s the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Jarama. Lots of different versions of the song; these are the words sung by Woody Guthrie. You know how it goes; sing along:

There’s a valley in Spain called Jarama
It’s a place that we all know so well
It was there that we fought against the Fascists
We saw a peacful valley turn to hell

From this valley they say we are going
But don’t hasten to bid us adieu
Even though we lost the battle at Jarama
We’ll set this valley free before we’re through

We were men of the Lincoln Battalion
We’re proud of the fight that we made
We know that you people of the valley
We’re remember our Lincoln Brigade

You will never find peace with these Fascists
You’ll never find friends such as we
So remember that valley of Jarama
And the people that’ll set that valley free

All this world is like this valley called Jarama
So green and so bright and so fair
No fascists can dwell in our valley
Nor breathe in our new freedom’s air

Bloody Hell

Scotland: (10) 17
Tries: Dewey, Paterson
Cons: Paterson 2
Pens: Paterson

Italy: (24) 37
Tries: Bergamasco, Scanavacca, Robertson, Troncon
Cons: Scanavacca 4
Pens: Scanavacca 3

Over here. And I foolishly decided to stay in the library, thinking that this would be the least interesting match of the afternoon. Good for the Italians.

Dead Socialist Watch, #262

Jennie Baines, suffragette. Growing up in the Salvation Army, she found her way into temperance and then into suffragist activism. She joined the WSPU in 1905, and became a paid organiser in 1908. Briefly imprisoned in 1908, she attempted to burn down the Theatre Royal in Dublin in 1912 ahead of a speech by Asquith, and was sentenced to seven months hard labour (but went on hunger strike and was released after five days). Back in prison the following year after allegedly attempting to bomb train carriages in a railway siding, she was eventually acquitted, and emigrated in Australia, where she carried on with her militancy, campaigning against conscription and flying the (banned) red flag — being jailed again on both occasions. She helped to found the Victorian branch of the Community Party in 1920, was expelled in 1925, and rejoined in ALP. (I think she sounds tremendous, and there should be more about her on the web.) Born in Birmingham, 30 November 1866, she died in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 20 February 1951.

Defunct Oxford Institutions, #4: The Radcliffe Infirmary


The post below reminds me to resurrect this very occasional series.

(If you remember, #1 was the Lucy’s factory, #2 was the Globe pub, still the subject of various planning disagreements, and #3 was the St Giles Café, except it re-opened a bit later.)

The Radcliffe Infirmary [also], the eighteenth-century hospital on Woodstock Road, which you’ve all seen Inspector Morse going into loads of times as it’s a bit more photogenic than the front of the JR, closed on 27 January 2007, and the University has taken over the site. (All the modern hospital wards will be knocked down, and eventually some kind of humanities campus is going to spring up on the site. The building in the photo can’t be touched, obviously.)

People who work there have told me this isn’t really a bad thing: it should have closed 30 years ago, except that the money to build the replacement services got diverted to Milton Keynes (or something like that, anyway), and it’s better to have all the main hospital services over in Headington. Still, I quite liked having a big hospital just round the corner, and it was terribly convenient to be able to visit friends by popping in through the back entrance, which opened up onto Walton Street.

Dead Socialist Watch, #261

Catherine Carswell, née Macfarlane, novelist and critic. Became a socialist at 14 after reading Robert Blatchford; married Herbert Jackson, who later became mentally unstable, and the Jackson v Jackson annulment case (1908) was an important one until the marriage law reforms of the 1930s. She made her way in London literary life with an epistolary novel, The Camomile (1922), a demythologising Life of Robert Burns (1930) and The Savage Pilgrimage, a portrait of her friend D. H. Lawrence. Born in Garnethill, Glasgow, 27 March 1879, died in the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, just round the corner from me, 18 February 1846.