Ebby Edwards

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Ebenezer Edwards (30 July 1884 – 6 July 1961) was a trade unionist and politician in Britain.

Born in Chevington, Northumberland, Edwards went down the coal mine at the age of 12. In 1906, he joined the Independent Labour Party, although he left after three years. In 1908, he attended Ruskin College in Oxford for ten months, but had to leave due to a lack of finances. After leaving the course, he became an early member of the Plebs' League and began to espouse Marxism.

Edwards continued working as a miner during World War I. A supporter of Robert Smillie, he opposed the war. He narrowly missed election to Parliament at the Wansbeck by-election, 1918, standing as a local Labour Party candidate, losing to Robert Mason. He lost in Wansbeck again at the 1918 general election.

Long active in the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB), Edwards was elected to increasingly important posts in the union. In 1929, he was finally elected to Parliament, as the Labour MP for Morpeth, succeeding Smillie, but lost his seat at the 1931 election. Elected as Vice-President of the MFGB in 1929, he became President in 1931 and Secretary in 1932. He also served in various posts at the Miners' International Federation.

Edwards supported the MFGB's reconstitution as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and became the NUM's first Secretary in 1945, but stepped down the following year to serve on the National Coal Board, keeping this post until 1953.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Smillie
Member of Parliament for Morpeth
19291931
Succeeded by
Godfrey Nicholson
Trade union offices
Preceded by
John Cairns
Financial Secretary of the Northumberland Miners' Association
1918–1929
Succeeded by
John Carr
Preceded by
Arthur Pugh and Will Sherwood
Trades Union Congress representative to the American Federation of Labour
1928
With: John Marchbank
Succeeded by
James Bell and James Thomas Brownlie
Preceded by
Thomas Richards
Vice-President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
1929–1930
Succeeded by
Peter Lee
Preceded by
Thomas Richards
President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
1931–1932
Succeeded by
Peter Lee
Preceded by
A. J. Cook
Secretary of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
1932–1945
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Achille Delattre
Secretary of the Miners' International Federation
1936–1947
Succeeded by
Will Lawther
Preceded by
Anne Loughlin
President of the Trades Union Congress
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Charles Dukes
Preceded by
New position
Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers
1945–1946
Succeeded by
Arthur Horner