Dead Socialist Watch, #289

Arthur Cook, trade unionist. Originally an agricultural worker, Cook migrated to the South Wales coalfield in 1901, becoming an ILPer a few years later. Active in the union, he was associated with the Unofficial Reform Committee, which published The Miners’ Next Step in 1912. Opposed to the First World War, he was charged with sedition under the Defence of the Realm Act in 1918 and jailed for two months, returning after his release to union activity in the Rhondda. As a member of the executive of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain he was involved in the 921 lock-out and again sentenced to two months’ hard labour for incitement and unlawful assembly. He was elected general secretary of the MFGB in 1924 and in 1926 led the miners through the nine days of the General Strike and seven months of the miners’ strike. Born Wookey, Somerset, 22 November 1883; died Golders Green, 2 November 1931.

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