Saturday, August 1

August 1, 1919: The Winnipeg Eight


Following those arrested and what happened to them will be the next section of this blog. I will try to follow as many as I can, though there is less detail available on-line as there was for the actual strike itself.

One group that I certainly will follow are "The Winnipeg Eight". These strike leaders, who by now were household names, were all arrested / had warrants issued for their arrest on June 17, 1919. They faced multiple charges of sedition.

Sent to Stoney Mountain (see above photo) to await their trials as of August 1 they were still waiting in jail.

Those eight are:
William Ivens
Born: Barford, England, 1878
Former Methodist minister. Editor of the Western Labour News. Arrested June 17 on multiple counts of seditious conspiracy.

Robert Boyd "R.B." Russell
Born: Glasgow, Scotland, 1888
OBU delegate, union leader and member of Central Strike Committee. Arrested June 17 on multiple charges of seditious libel.

Richard J "Dick"Johns
Born: Cornwall, England, 1889.
CPR Machinist, Manitoba leader for the OBU. Arrest warrant issued June 17, (while he was in Montréal). Charged with seditious conspiracy.

John Queen
Born: Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1882
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Alderman for Ward 5 (North End). Member of Social Democratic Party and business agent / advertising manager for the Western Labor News. Arrested June 17 on multiple charges of sedition.

Abram Albert "A.A." Heaps
Born: Leeds, England, 1885
Member of Social Democratic Party, oversaw operations for the strike committee. Arrested June 17, 1919 on charges of sedition.

George Armstrong
Born: 1870 Scarborough, Ontario, 1870
Union Organizer, member of Socialist Party, prominent Marxist. Arrested June 17 on seven counts of seditious conspiracy

Roger Bray
Born: Sheffield, England
Butcher, Lay Methodist preacher, spokesman for returned soldiers and leader of veterans’ parades. Arrested June 17 on multiple charges of seditious conspiracy

William A. (Bill) Pritchard
Born: Salford, England, 1888.
B.C.-based, editor of socialist newspaper and OBU delegate. Warrant issued for arrest for sedition, captured on a train in Calgary while returning to B.C.


  1. What does Sedition mean? you never told us what that ment, once in your blog.

  2. Seditious means to be rebellious or to be in action

  3. Just found proof that the photo of the Famous 8 was taken at Vaughan Street Jail and not Stoney Mt as has always been believed. I have a copy of a letter from Pritchard to a lawyer who was researching the strike and Pritchard himself makes the correction that the photo was in fact taken at the Provincial Jail. I spoke to a prof at Brandon U who verifies the letter.

  4. Interesting blog. Blogger knows how to keep the readers engaged.
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