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TITLE
The Invergordon Mutiny (1 of 2)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_SYDATKINSON_01
PLACENAME
Invergordon
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Rosskeen
DATE OF RECORDING
1991
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Syd Atkinson
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1791
KEYWORDS
mutinies
strikes
audio

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The Invergordon Mutiny took place in September 1931. It was an industrial action taken by Royal Navy sailors over government pay cuts; one of the few military strikes in British history. In this audio extract, Syd Atkinson relates the story of the mutiny. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.

'The whole fleet were up in Invergordon waiting to start their annual summer exercises. There were some big ships up there; there was the 'Hood', and the 'Rodney' and the 'Valiant', the 'Malaya' and the 'Warspite'. And there were four light cruisers and a flotilla of destroyers and various ancillary ships, all lying off Invergordon waiting to do this exercise. Soon after they got there some of the ratings discovered that the government were proposing to cut their pay by about twenty-five per cent. Of course, it was the time of the Great Depression and the government were in severe difficulties, economically speaking, and they cut a lot of the public servants' wages but none of them to the extent of twenty-five per cent. Now rightly or wrongly, the men jumped to the conclusion that the announcement had been held back deliberately until they were away from their home ports, just so that they wouldn't have their families and friends to help them in making protests about these cuts.

On the Sunday, the 13th September that was, there was a crowd of them on the pier in the evening and various speeches were made and they called a massed meeting of ratings for the Monday. Now this meeting was held in the naval canteen and it overflowed it to such an extent they had to hold another meeting on the naval football field and there were over five hundred men from various ships on the football field. The result of the meetings was that they passed a resolution protesting against the severity of the paycuts and stating that they wouldn't go to sea until their case had been heard. Now, the ships had been intended to sail on the exercises on the Tuesday but the men stuck to their guns. To all intents and purposes they declared a strike. Well, they continued to carry out all the usual cleaning duties and such like that you would carry out in port; they just wouldn't carry out any duties that would take them to sea. All leave was of course cancelled and that prevented the men from reassembling and having another meeting ashore, but there were meetings held on some of the ships and the men passed their spare time singing songs and cheering and counter-cheering one another on the various ships lying at anchor off Invergordon'

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The Invergordon Mutiny (1 of 2)

ROSS: Rosskeen

1990s

mutinies; strikes; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Invergordon Mutiny

The Invergordon Mutiny took place in September 1931. It was an industrial action taken by Royal Navy sailors over government pay cuts; one of the few military strikes in British history. In this audio extract, Syd Atkinson relates the story of the mutiny. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.<br /> <br /> 'The whole fleet were up in Invergordon waiting to start their annual summer exercises. There were some big ships up there; there was the 'Hood', and the 'Rodney' and the 'Valiant', the 'Malaya' and the 'Warspite'. And there were four light cruisers and a flotilla of destroyers and various ancillary ships, all lying off Invergordon waiting to do this exercise. Soon after they got there some of the ratings discovered that the government were proposing to cut their pay by about twenty-five per cent. Of course, it was the time of the Great Depression and the government were in severe difficulties, economically speaking, and they cut a lot of the public servants' wages but none of them to the extent of twenty-five per cent. Now rightly or wrongly, the men jumped to the conclusion that the announcement had been held back deliberately until they were away from their home ports, just so that they wouldn't have their families and friends to help them in making protests about these cuts. <br /> <br /> On the Sunday, the 13th September that was, there was a crowd of them on the pier in the evening and various speeches were made and they called a massed meeting of ratings for the Monday. Now this meeting was held in the naval canteen and it overflowed it to such an extent they had to hold another meeting on the naval football field and there were over five hundred men from various ships on the football field. The result of the meetings was that they passed a resolution protesting against the severity of the paycuts and stating that they wouldn't go to sea until their case had been heard. Now, the ships had been intended to sail on the exercises on the Tuesday but the men stuck to their guns. To all intents and purposes they declared a strike. Well, they continued to carry out all the usual cleaning duties and such like that you would carry out in port; they just wouldn't carry out any duties that would take them to sea. All leave was of course cancelled and that prevented the men from reassembling and having another meeting ashore, but there were meetings held on some of the ships and the men passed their spare time singing songs and cheering and counter-cheering one another on the various ships lying at anchor off Invergordon'