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Herbert Elvin (trade unionist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Herbert Henry Elvin (18 July 1874 – 10 November 1949) was a British trade unionist.

Born in Eckington, Derbyshire, Elvin left school at the age of 14,[1] although he later studied with the People's Palace, Birkbeck College and the City of London College.[2] He became a preacher at the age of fifteen, and spent seven years in India.[2]

Elvin joined the National Union of Clerks in 1894, and became a prominent figure, holding the post of honorary secretary from 1906, then general secretary from 1909, serving until 1941. He was elected to the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in 1925, and served as President of the TUC in 1938. He also worked as British labour advisor to the International Labour Organization, and on the executive of the League of Nations Union.[1] In his spare time, he organised Slum Children's Outings for the East End. He also stood unsuccessfully as a Labour Party candidate in Bath at the 1922 general election, then Watford in 1924,[2] Spen Valley in 1929, and on one further occasion. He was elected to Middlesex County Council.[1]

Two of Elvin's children became prominent figures: Lionel became Principal of Ruskin College, and George became General Secretary of the Association of Cinematograph Television and Allied Technicians.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Report of the 49th Annual Conference, Labour Party, p.38
  2. ^ a b c The Labour Who's Who (1927), p.64
  3. ^ Margaret Cole, The Life of G. D. H. Cole, p.113
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Charles Dyer
General Secretary of the National Union of Clerks and Administrative Workers
Succeeded by
Preceded by Auditor of the Trades Union Congress
With: Samuel Lomax (1922–1923)
John Twomey (1924)
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Preceded by Trades Union Congress representative to the American Federation of Labour
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 28 February 2021, at 20:18
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