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Arthur (Lewis) Horner 1894-1968

Red Line

Born Merthyr Tydfil. Employed variously in his youth at a barber’s, as a grocer’s delivery boy and also at the local railway office. He had a religious upbringing and at seventeen obtained a scholarship to attend the Baptist College in Birmingham but he left after six months to pursue politics instead. Became employed at Standard Collieries in the Rhondda valley.

He opposed the war effort of World War I and this led to him being imprisoned but released in 1919 when he was appointed as checkweighman at Maerdy colliery. In 1920 he became a member of the British Communist Party and along with Noah Ablett, A.J. Cook and S.O. Davies established the Miners’ Minority Movement.

As an active trade unionist he became a member of the executive committee of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain in 1926, but his radical views led to him being removed from this and also the Miners’ Minority Movement in the early 1930s.

Became South Wales Miners’ Federation president in 1936 and appointed general secretary to the National Union of Mineworkers in 1944, a position he held until his retirement in 1959.


Campbell, Alan, Fishman, Nina, and Howell, David. (eds) Miners, Unions and Politics 1910-1947. (Aldershot, 1996) 

Communist Party of Great Britain. South Wales District Committee. Communists in South Wales : policy and aims. (Cardiff : South Wales District of the Communist Party, 1941.)

Horner, Arthur. The bureaucracy in the Miners' Federation. (London : Miners' Minority Movement, 1928.)

Horner, Arthur and Hutt, Allen. Communism and coal. (London : Communist Party of Great Britain, 1928.)

Horner, Arthur Incorrigible rebel. (London : McGibbon & Kee, 1960.)

Paynter, Will and Horner, Arthur. Outlook for mining. (London: Communist Party, 1958.)



Horner, Arthur The right to strike [Pamphlet] (London, n.d.)

Horner, Arthur Coal crisis: the miners` reply [Pamphlet] (London, 1944)

Horner, Arthur Towards a popular front [Pamphlet] (London,1936)

Horner,Arthur Incorrigible Rebel ((London, 1960)

All items listed in the further reading are available for consultation in either the South Wales Miners’ Library or the Library and Information Centre, University of Wales Swansea. Click here to link to the library catalogue. 


Ymgyrchu - Life and career of Arthur Horner



Arthur (Lewis) Horner 1894-1968

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