1930s >> 1938 >> no-406-june-1938

Obituary: George Bellingham

Obituary: George Bellingham

During the past few months the Party has suffered severely at the hand of death, and we regret the loss of another propagandist, George Bellingham, who died in April, at the age of about 55.

His attention was directed to the Socialist movement during the early days of the War. The conduct of the Labour Party in its whole-hearted support of that slaughter, and the betrayal of the workers by the Trade Union leaders, prompted him to take a more active part in working-class affairs.

In 1916 he was elected to the Executive Committee of his Trade Union, the London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers. The following year, in company with a member of the Socialist Party, he attended a conference of the Transport Workers’ Federation, held at Bristol. While there they noticed that the whole of the passenger-carrying industry was in the hands of the Bristol Tramway & Carriage Co. The employees were unorganised, and dare not mention a word about Trade Unionism.

Realising that the time was favourable to rectify this, they reported the matter to their Executive Committee, and, as a consequence, Bellingham was sent to Bristol to undertake the task of organising this body of workers, and so bring them into the Trade Union movement. This work he carried out in a thorough and efficient manner, and as a result he was approached to stand as a Parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party. This offer being in conflict with his Socialist principles, he declined.

He continued the work of Organiser until the various Trade Unions catering for the Transport Workers were amalgamated into the “Transport Workers’ Union.” When this took place our late comrade gave up his position and ultimately returned to his work as a journeyman cab-driver.

For many years he gave unsparing service to the cause of Socialism, carrying on consistent propaganda, both among his fellow drivers and from the platform. Not until his recent illness compelled it, did he relax those efforts to help forward working-class enlightenment and ultimate emancipation.

E. L.

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