Chapter Fourteen Photos for
My Union Right or Wrong
22 of 33 slides

The Blood Vote leaflet
1917 conscription referendum

Photo 71KB

Poem issued during anti-conscription campaign, 1917. Written by W.R. Winspear.

Why is your face so white, mother?
Why do you choke for breath?
O I have dreamt in the night, my son
That I doomed a man to death

Why do you hide your hand, mother?
And crouch above it in dread?
It beareth a dreadful branch, my son
With the dead man's blood 'tis red

I hear his widow cry in the night
I hear his children weep
And always within my sight, O God!
The dead man's blood doth leap

They put the dagger into my grasp.
It seemed but a pencil then
I did not know it was a fiend a gasp
For the priceless blood of men

They gave me the ballot paper.
The grim death-warrant of doom,
And I smugly sentenced the man to death
In that dreadful little room.

I put it inside the Box of Blood
Nor thought of the man I'd slain
Till at midnight came like a whelming flood
God's word and Brand of Cain

O little son! O my little son!
Pray God for your Mother's soul
That the scarlet stain may be white again
In God's great Judgement Roll

For more information on W.R. Winspear see W.R. Winspear: Anarchist or Socialist? by Dr Bob James.

My Union Right or Wrong.
A history of the Ship Painters and Dockers Union 1900-1932
By Issy Wyner