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David Kirkwood, 1936

Mitchell Library

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David Kirkwood, 1936

A portrait of David Kirkwood (1872-1955), published in 1936.

Born in Parkhead, Kirkwood worked at the Parkhead Forge, the Mount Vernon Steel Works and at John Brown & Co's shipyard in Clydebank. He became a shop steward at the Parkhead Forge in 1910 and his involvement with the anti-war Clyde Workers' Committee and the George Square riots in January 1919 (when he was knocked unconscious by a policeman's truncheon) earned him a reputation as one of the leading radicals on Clydeside.

Kirkwood joined the Independent Labour Party in 1914 and became a councillor in 1919, representing the Mile End ward. In 1922 he became MP for the Dumbarton Burghs, remaining as an MP for 29 years. His campaign in Parliament to draw attention to the effect of the economic depression in Clydebank in the 1930s influenced the decision to resume work on ship No 534, later the Queen Mary, which was so vital to the Burgh's recovery from the effects of the Great Depression.

In 1951 Kirkwood was created a baron, taking the title Lord Kirkwood of Bearsden.

Reference: GC 941.432 BUR

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

burgesses, Clyde Workers' Committee, ILP, Independent Labour Party, John Brown & Co, Members of Parliament, Mount Vernon Steel Works, MPs, Parkhead Forge, Red Clydeside, RMS Queen Mary, shop stewards, William Beardmore & Co

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