Motion to branch committee – Monument to the Tolpuddle Martyrs

Some of you may have attended the Tolpuddle Festival, perhaps even in company with other trade unionists, proudly carrying your Unison banner along the village’s main road. The purpose of the Festival is to celebrate the contribution to the development of trade unionism made by the five martyrs who in 1834 were the subject of a gross injustice leading to their deportation to Australia.

As a result of public pressure, the men were subsequently released and returned to England. In time, four of the group decided to emigrate to Canada. When they died, gravestones and memorials were erected to mark their last resting places.

Time has taken its toll on these structures, which now require renovation and repair. An appeal  has been launched by the Siloam United Church, London, Canada, in order that the necessary work can be undertaken and corrections made to signage in the vicinity explaining the martyrs’ role in history. It has been calculated that the work will cost 50,000 Canadian dollars, of which 7,000 Canadian dollars has currently been raised.

I ask that the Committee approve a donation of £50 to assist in the repairs and renovation.

[Note: You will see in the attached Motion that we have requested our Branch to make a donation of £50 to an appeal to renovate and repair monuments and gravestones of four of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who, after their ordeal, emigrated to Canada.

It might be that like some of the Retired Members Committee you would wish to make an individual donation: Fundraiser by G Anderson : Tolpuddle Martyrs Cemetery Restoration Project (]

Chris O’Neill

Chair, Hampshire Unison Retired Members Section