Author of "The Red Flag"
which became the anthem of the
International Labour Movement
Born Rathniska, Kilskyre 1852
Died Lewisham, London 1929
Oh, grant me an ownerless corner of earth,
Or pick me a hillock of stones,
Or gather the wind wafted leaves of the trees
To cover my socialist bones,
This monument was unveiled on 26th April, 1998 by
Peter Cassells, general secretary, ICTU, before an
international gathering from the trade unions and
This monument, in memory of Jim Connell is dedicated to the millions
of Irish emigrants who fought for economic and social justice and
helped to build the trade union movement worldwide. The song
"The Red Flag", was inspired by the London Dock Strike of 1889 and
the struggle to win the eight hour day by gas workers the same year.
These significant events heralded the unionisation of unskilled
workers in Britain and Ireland and their liberation from unrelenting
toil. Jim Connell was also actively involved in the development of the
Irish Land League and the establishment of its first branch in England.
The People's Flag is deepest red;
It shrouded oft our martyred dead;
And, ere their limbs grew stiff or cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.
Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we'll live and die;
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the Red Flag flying here.
It suits to-day the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on self and place,
To cringe before the rich man's frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.
We are grateful to the GMB London
Region and from Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council,
whose founder members in London in 1889 inspired Jim Connell to write the
Red Flag and without whose support this monument would not be possible.
Workers of the world Unite
Bob Crow General Sec.