This film is part of Free

March against Starvation

Poverty and hunger compels angry, jobless workers - including Jarrow's crusaders - to make a historic march to London to petition government.

Campaigning film 1936 31 mins Silent


Two hundred Jarrow men - jobless after the local shipyard closed - marched to London in 1936 with local MP 'Red Ellen' Wilkinson, to protest against inadequate unemployment relief and demand new jobs. Less often recalled, but more prominent here, are the other men and women from all over the country who similarly made the trek in the National Unemployed Workers Movement's National Protest March.

Jarrow councillors were not keen to associate the Jarrow crusaders - who had local cross-party support - with the NUWM, which had strong Communist Party links. However, once they reached London, the more numerous NUWM marchers joined the Jarrow contingent, swelling their ranks considerably. As a result, this NUWM propaganda film suggests, Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin agreed to meet a delegation of protesters. He was presented with a petition signed by more than 10,000 Jarrow residents.