Bevin, Ernest, 1881-1951

Alternative names
Birth 1881-03-09
Death 1951-04-14

Biographical notes:

Bevin was a British labor leader and politician. He served as the British Minister of Labour (1940-1945) and as Foreign Secretary (1945-1951). Rosita Forbes (1893?-1967) was the consumate traveler in and writer on north Africa, the Middle East and western Asia.

From the description of [Letter] 1945 Nov. 27, Foreign Office, S.W. 1 [to] Rosita Forbes / Ernest Bevin. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 166268415

1892-1894 farm labourer, Chaffcombe farm, then Beers farm; 1894 moved to Bristol; 1894-1897 various unskilled positions; 1897-1900 conductor, horse trams; 1900-1906 van driver, G. C. King of York Street, St Paul's; 1906-1908 manager, refreshment rooms, G. C. King of York Street, St Paul's; c 1908-1911 van driver, John Macey's; 1908-1910 secretary, Bristol right to work committee; 1910-1911 chairman and founder, carmen branch of the Dockers' Union; 1911-1914 district investigator, the Dockers' Union; 1914-1916 National Organiser, the Dockers' Union; 1915 Trade Union Congress fraternal delegate, the annual convention of the American Federation of Labor, San Francisco; 1916 elected to the executive committee, the National Transport Workers' Federation; 1917 vice-president, the Bristol Association for Industrial Reconstruction; 1920-1922 assistant general secretary, the Dockers' Union; 1921-1940 general secretary, the Transport and General Workers' Union; 1925-1940 member of the general council of the Trade Union Congress; 1936-1937 chairman, general council of the Trades Union Congress; 1940-1950 Member of Parliament for Central Wandsworth; 1940-1945 minister of Labour and National Service; 1945-1951 secretary of state for Foreign Affairs; 1946 fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford; 1950-1951 Member of Parliament for Woolwich East.

Epithet: trade unionist and politician

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001137.0x0001f0

Ernest Bevin was born in 1884. Full-time official, Dockers' Union, 1911, assistant national organiser, 1913, national organiser, 1914. Became General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1922. Member of Trades Union Congress General Council from 1925. TUC Chairman, 1936-1937. Labour Member of Parliament for Wandsworth Central, 1940-1950; Woolwich East, 1950-1951. Minister of Labour and National Service, 1940-1945. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1945-1950. Lord Privy Seal, 1951. Died in 1951.

Reference: The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 1992).

From the guide to the Transport and General Workers' Union: Ernest Bevin Papers, 1919-1954, (Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library)


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  • Docks Wales, South
  • Stevedores Labor unions Great Britain
  • Labor leaders Great Britain


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  • Indonesia, Asia (as recorded)
  • Burma, Asia (as recorded)
  • Ledo, Assam (as recorded)
  • South Eastern Asia, Asia (as recorded)
  • Thailand, Asia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Palestine (as recorded)
  • Malaya, Malaysia (as recorded)