Mrs Barbour’s Army

Frostys ramblings a left look at life

A 100 years ago the citizens of Glasgow came out on strike when landlords, much like those today, put rents up to extortionate levels. PETER FROST has the story

One of the largest demonstrations ever seen in Glasgow took place a 100 years ago towards the end of 1915.

Willie Gallacher (below), who would later become a Communist MP, caught the mood beautifully. He called the huge protest of thousands of rent striking housewives accompanied by shipyard and engineering workers “Mrs Barbour’s Army.”

gallacher willie in 1945
So who was this Mrs Barbour whose army had converged on the sheriff’s courts in the centre of Glasgow a century ago this week?
Mary Barbour was born on February 22 1875 in Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, the third of seven children born to carpet weaver James Rough and his wife Jane Gavin. When the family moved to Elderslie in 1887, Mary herself began work in the carpet…

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About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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