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Sid Elias

Born in 1897 in South Wales, he started off in the steel industry but was to come to prominence as the organiser of the first ever hunger march that went from Cardiff to London in 1922.

By the mid-1920s he was active in trade union work of the period but became a leading figure in the NUWM, serving as national chair. Arrested on many occasions, usually in the company of Wal Hannington (see separate entry), he was eventually imprisoned for two years in 1932 for the `offence' of incitement to strike.

Having moved to Newcastle on his release, he was one of the organisers of the much-hyped 1936 Jarrow march, the latest, least successful and least militant of a whole series of much more important hunger marches over the previous decade and a half.

During the second world war, he worked and organised in munitions factories and later led, as President, the National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers, which merged with the T&G in the early 1980s. He was long married to his wife, Joanna, and he was to die age 93 in 1990.

Source: Morning Star June 7th 1990