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Jones Wally

Wally Jones

Jones grew up in Stepney, roaming the back streets and alleys of Wapping. He became a London docker at the Royal Docks, rising to become Chairman of the London Dockers’ Liaison committee.

He was at the forefront of the campaign to defend the Regulation 1305, when seven dockers were imprisoned in 1951 after an unofficial strike. (See entry for Joe Cowley and Ted Dickens).

These rank and file dockers were charged under war time regulation against strikes, with conspiracy to incite dockers to take part in strike in contravention of the employment and national arbitration order 1305. It was Joe who secured the services of Communist lawyer, Jack Gaster (see separate entry), for the London men and Sydney Silverman for the northern men.

A thorough and conscientious worker, Joe died in a 1958 work accident when an error by a hatchman led to him falling to the bottom of the hold. Immediately the men stopped work and went home. On the day of his funeral special permission was given for the cortege to pass in and out of the Royal Group main gates.

Famous veterans Albert Timothy and Ted Dickens paid their respect along with thousands of dockers and hundreds of cranes stood still and silent, in upright salute. Another veteran of the 1308 imprisonment, Joe Cowley, placed a wreath on the coffin in the shape of a cargo boat

Source: Good Morning Brother – Jack Dash

Michael Walker