The Union Makes Us Stronger. TUC | History Online logo TUC banner photo
Advanced Search
Home Timeline General Strike Match Workers The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists TUC Reports Feedback Email Us
Timeline 1815-1834 1850-1880 1914-1918 1939-1945 1960-2000
1815-1834 1834-1850 1850-1880 1880-1914 1914-1918 1918-1939 1939-1945 1945-1960 1960-2000
1834-1850 1880-1914 1918-1939 1945-1960 Tutor's Notes link Enlarge timeline

Ernest Bevin (1881- 1951)

Ernest Bevin (1881-1951) was born in Somerset and became an agricultural labourer. He moved to Bristol at 13 and worked in various jobs. He became active in socialist politics and was secretary of the Bristol Right-to-Work Committee in 1910. He organised carters into the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union and became a paid official of the Union in 1911 and national organiser by 1913.

In 1921, 32 unions amalgamated into the Transport and General Workers Union with Bevin as its first General Secretary. He was also a member of the TUC General Council 1925-1940. In 1940, Winston Churchill invited him to become Minister of Labour in his wartime coalition Government and he won a by-election at Wandsworth the same year. He successfully mobilised Britain's workforce and became one of the most significant members of the war cabinet.

In the post-war Labour Government, Attlee appointed Bevin as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, where he played a key role in the Marshall plan, the creation of NATO and the decision to develop nuclear weapons.

Title Ernest Bevin (1881- 1951)
Maker --
Production Date 1939-1945
Format Photograph
Copyright --
Holding Institution TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University
Related Objects TUC Congress, Nottingham, 1930 - Ernest Bevin
© London Metropolitan University | Terms & Conditions