excerpt from 'About Myself, 1863–1930' pp. 153–154 (228 words)

excerpt from 'About Myself, 1863–1930' pp. 153–154 (228 words)

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About Myself, 1863–1930

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[Ben Turner became a full-time trade union organiser, and was a founding member of the International Textile Workers’ Federation]


I remember one incident very well at our Berlin Congress. It was during the Boer War, and feeling was somewhat anti-British. I didn’t perhaps feel it as much as some, for I was against the Boer War, and never retaliated when at home people called me a pro-Boer. I was as pro-British then as I am now, but did not and do not believe in war. In Berlin, two of our Lancashire delegates had got merry and were marching towards the hotel in Dresdenstrasse singing and going on as if they owned the world. A police officer went up to them, to get them to be quiet, I suppose. He couldn't understand their language and they couldn’t understand his, but one of them pulled out his passport to which he had pinned on the hotel address, and said, in choice Lancashire language, ‘Look here, my lad, touch us if tha dar’ (dare). Si thi (see thee) this is signed bi Lord Salisbury, an’ he’s next to th’ Queen o’ England.” The passport kept the officer silent, but like a true internationalist, on seeing the address they wanted, he piloted them to the hotel and left them guessing that a German wasn’t so bad after all.

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excerpt from 'About Myself, 1863–1930' pp. 153–154 (228 words)


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