Tooley Street – “Ernest Bevin”

At the far end of Tooley Street, near the junction with Tower Bridge Road, can be found this statue of the Rt.Hon.Ernest Bevin (1881-1951). Between the 1920s and 1950s Bevin was a central figure in the British labour movement and in British foreign policy and served as foreign secretary in the late 1940s.


Ernest Bevin was born on 9 March 1881. He received little formal education and was orphaned at the age of eight. He began work at 11 in the Bristol docks but soon exhibited an extraordinary gift for organisation. He became involved in the Dockers’ Union and was instrumental in the creation of the Transport and General Workers Union, of which he became general secretary in 1922.


The sculptor was Edwin Whitney Smith (1880-1952) but this statue was not typical of his other work.


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