Progress of hunger marchers

Summary of the Hunger Marchers progress across the country for the National Hunger Marchers’ demonstration in Hyde Park, 12th October 1932 (HO 144/18187)



Five sets of hunger marchers are on the way.

(1) The Scottish contingent, which is the biggest, was 256 strong when it arrived at Blackburn on the 9th. They marched on to Bolton on the 10th, but the Public Assistance Officer only offered them casual wards with the usual rules, so they went to Farnworth where they were allowed by the Urban District Council to sleep at the fever hospital and in a mission hall. “The Manchester Guardian” says that 400 stayed at Farnworth. They left for Manchester yesterday morning (11th).

(2) The Tyneside group numbered only 80 when they started from Newcastle but fresh contingents joined them at Darlington from Middlesbrough and Hartlepool and 150 arrived at Harrogate on Sunday, 9th. Some of them were quite young boys. On Monday they went on to Bradford where the Public Assistance Officer did not expect to have any application as arrangements had been made for a Hall in the town.

(3) The women’s contingent (26) left Burnley on the 9th and slept at Todmorden. They arrived at Halifax on Monday. A group of men, about 20, marched from Burnley to Todmorden a day or two later although this was not in the original scheme.

(4) The Merseyside group, consisting of only 16 men, left Liverpool for St. Helens on the 11th. They are to join the main Lancashire group further on.

(5) The Plymouth contingent left on the 9th, but we have no report as yet from Mr. Duff. We know from the “Daily Worker” that they only numbered 15 and were housed at Ivybridge for the night. The number on the road so far as we know it at present is therefore about 627, taking the Scottish group as 400.

All the reports speak of the men as being orderly, but except where they had planned to stay two nights e.g. Lancaster, they are not willing to go into casual wards and keep the rules but seem able to find accommodation elsewhere. The reports show that they can invariably supplement the institution meals from their own resources.

12th October, 1932.

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