Tom Williamson, Baron Williamson

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Thomas Williamson, Baron Williamson, CBE, JP (2 September 1897 – 27 February 1983) was a trade unionist and Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.[1]

Williamson was born in St. Helens, Lancashire. His father was a glassblower, and Tom began his career working in the office of his father's union, the National Amalgamated Union of Labour.[1][2] He became a full-time union delegate, and in 1924, when it became part of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers (NUGMW), he was appointed as a district secretary. He became interested in politics at age 9, when his father took him to see Tom Mann speak. During the First World War, he served with the Royal Engineers.[1]

He first foray into politics was serving on the Liverpool City Council from 1929–35. At the 1945 general election, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Brigg constituency in Lincolnshire. He resigned his seat in 1948, and the resulting by-election was won by Labour's Lance Mallalieu.[1]

In 1937, he became the industrial officer of NUGMW, and served as its General Secretary from 1946–61. He was also President of the Trades Union Congress from 1957 to 1958. He was a founding member of the British Productivity Council.[1]

Williamson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1950,[3] and was knighted in 1956.[4]

Williamson was created a life peer on 15 May 1962, with the title Baron Williamson, of Ecccleston in the Borough of St. Helens in the County Palatine of Lancaster.[5]

He died in a Cheshire nursing home in 1983, aged 85. He was survived by his wife, Hilda Hartley, whom he married in 1925. They had one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary: Lord Williamson". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 1 March 1983. p. 14.
  2. ^ Clegg, H. A. (1954). General Union. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 304–306.
  3. ^ "No. 38929". The London Gazette. 8 June 1950. p. 2786.
  4. ^ "No. 40829". The London Gazette. 13 July 1956. pp. 4075–4076.
  5. ^ "No. 42675". The London Gazette. 15 May 1962. p. 3943.
  6. ^ Surrey Coats of Arms. Surrey Heritage. Retrieved 2 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Quibell
Member of Parliament for Brigg
Succeeded by
Lance Mallalieu
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Charles Dukes
General Secretary of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers
Succeeded by
Jack Cooper
Preceded by
Herbert Bullock and William Harold Hutchinson
Trades Union Congress representative to the American Federation of Labour
With: Lincoln Evans
Succeeded by
Florence Hancock and Will Lawther
Preceded by
Wilfred Beard
President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Tom Yates