Friday, October 13, 2006



The history of the NAWU has been the history of all trade unions. We have suffered greatly, and we have greatly gained.

Persecution has failed to stop the march of progress, and has helped the cause it sought to suppress; but the Asylum Authorities have an unenviable record of victimization even in trade union annals.

Look at this black list, you new members, and see how your right of combination has been gained, and at what cost:

Lancaster Asylum

Wakefield Asylum

Banstead Asylum

Cardiff Asylum (2)

Dorchester Asylum (4)

Fareham Asylum

Newport Asylum (2)

Bootham Asylum Park

Maidstone Asylum

Warlingham Asylum (2)

Earlswood Asylum

Norfolk Asylum

All these cases of victimization involved loss of employment, and the wasting of service ranging from one to twenty years.

Two of these men, Messrs Mumford and Burton, through inability to secure employment, are at the present moment reduced to the direst poverty, and if any member of the union would like to assist in providing them of the means of keeping a roof over their heads during the coming Christmas, we shall be pleased to hear from them.

Fortunately, all these sacrifices have not been in vain. The conditions of service at most of the Asylums where we have established strong branches are considerably improved, and we believe all branches have succeeded in gaing some concessions, which however small, have well repaid the small subscription paid to the union.

Yes from “Cold meat of some sort” at Devizes Asylum, to a £7 and £5 a year rise all round to nurses and Attendants in the West Riding Asylums.

NAWU Magazine December 1913

Portrane Asylum, Ireland staff in 1913 were forced to sign, on pain of dismissal, a document declaring that they were not members of the NAWU.