Labour Party Manifesto, 1945

1945 was an important year for the British Labour Party. Founded in 1900, it had twice formed governments in 1924 and 1929, but it did not enjoy a majority in either of these and was heavily defeated by a coalition of all the bourgeois parties in 1931. In 1940, just before the fall of France, on the invitation of Winston Churchill the Labour Party joined a coalition government. Its leader Clement Attlee became deputy Prime Minister. When the war in Europe ended, an election was called.

Saklatvala’s 1922 Address for the 1922 British General Election

The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was founded in 1920 and tried but failed to affiliate to the Labour Party. At the 1922 election Communists like Shapurji Saklatvala stood as individual Labour candidates.

The Labour Party’s 1924 Conference banned individual Communist membership, so Saklatvala stood again the North Battersea Division and won as a Communist with local Labour Party support. This made him Britain’s second Communist Party MP and third Black MP.

Medal for Sylvia Pankhurst

The artist and suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst was a militant campaigner for voting rights for women. More than once she was arrested, but went on campaiging in prison. In 1913 she held a hunger strike in prison, for which the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) awarded her this honorary medal.