Thursday, 4 April 2013

Attacking Tory mis-rule -prejudice leads to resignation-update

About 100 years ago the Birkdale and County Liberal Club held their annual picnic. In 1913 they visited Childwall Abbey. Undoubtedly the most significant figure in the photo is Charles Brumm -Birkdale's own 'CB'. He is fourth from the left. Brumm was German by birth and had become a naturalised UK citizen in the 1870's . He was President of Birkdale Liberals and held in very high regard as the last verse of this Election song shows:
A year later with WW1 looming the annual picnic took them the Rufford-Hesketh Arms. In the picture of that event Charles Brumm is missing. 

The picnic was held 3 days before the outbreak of war and Brumm had felt it necessary to resign as President because of the widespread anti German feeling.
As we approach the centenary of WW1 it is worth recalling the jingoistic national mood. Such sentiments have always been a feature of our politics; Bentinck, Imperial Leagues, and Empire Unions,  they re-occur. Sometimes they capture the Tory party often they stand out side it. UKIP today stands in their tradition. When you view the propaganda of the time you can understand Brumm's discomfort. He was a veteran of the first 1910 election in Southport when the Baron de Forest -of Jewish dissent-was the Liberal candidate and the Tories played the race card and ran 'the White  candidate' against him-narrowly winning. I noticed the other
 night in the Crown pub they have a photograph of the Tory Club in Birkdale displaying the election result in 1910. Notice the slogan 'England for the English'

The original photos passed to me by the blog's resident historian came from the home of Mr H G Williamson a long standing Birkdale Liberal. He is pictured on the extreme right of the 1914 photo. I have been fortunate to receive various documents from this source including his copy of the 1929 We Can Conquer Unemployment pamphlet on which he had noted down the result  in Southport. Cecil Ramage the barrister and actor was our candidate-(He played the barrister in Kind Hearts and Coronets)
Next to Williamson in the photo is Dr Mullholland a local candidate. He had a key role in the first 1910 election namely to deliver the Catholic vote. He had some success in this but most did as the local Catholic Squirearchy told them. The catholic population in the town were not Irish Catholics as in Liverpool who did vote Liberal chiefly because of Gladstone, they were Lancashire and tended to follow the local landowners in voting Tory.

Charles Brumm's  grandfather had fought at Waterloo as a Hanoverian for the British .He had been naturalised  forty years early and yet the Tories still considered him to be a  foreigner in the same way as de Forest. He published a book which was sent out to Liberal friends and a copy survives from Mr Williamson’s garage-from whence have come many key historical documents  I will do a posting on the book later

1 comment:

  1. I am carrying out research on Henry Eccles Richards, from Southport, who served with the 7th Battalion Liverpool Regiment in World War 1. Henry won the Military Medal and Bar for bravery.
    He was the youngest son of Charles Richards " the popular and obliging steward of the Chapel Street Liberal Club."
    Jane Richards, Charles's wife also worked at the club.

    Do you know if any records exist relating to Charles or Henry. Both the MM and bar were awarded in 1918.

    Many thanks

    Mark Abbott


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