Workers' Dreadnought

Workers' Dreadnought was a newspaper published by variously named political parties led by Sylvia Pankhurst.

Workers' Dreadnought
For International Socialism
TypeWeekly newspaper
Owner(s)Workers' Socialist Federation
Founder(s)Sylvia Pankhurst
PublisherDreadnought Publications
EditorSylvia Pankhurst
General managerHarold Burgess
Founded8 March 1914 (1914-03-08)
Political alignmentFar left
Ceased publication14 June 1924 (1924-06-14)
Headquarters152 Fleet Street
CountryUnited Kingdom
Circulation10,000 (as of 1917)[1]

The paper was started by Pankhurst at the suggestion of Zelie Emerson,[2] after Pankhurst had been expelled from the Women's Social and Political Union by her mother and sister. The paper was published on behalf of the newly formed East London Federation of Suffragettes.

Provisionally titled Workers' Mate, the newspaper first appeared on 8 March 1914[3] (14 March according to one source[4] 21 March according to another[5]), the day of suffragette rally at which Pankhurst was due to speak, in Trafalgar Square, as The Woman's Dreadnought, with a circulation of 30,000,[citation needed], subsequently (on number 10, of May 1914) stated as 20,000.[6]

When the editor was imprisoned, Norah Smyth alternated as acting editor with Jack O'Sullivan.[7] For many years, Smyth had used her photography skills to provide pictures for the newspaper of East End life, particularly of women and children living in poverty.[8]

In July 1917 the name was changed to Workers' Dreadnought,[9] which initially had a circulation of 10,000. Its slogan changed to "Socialism, Internationalism, Votes for All", and then in July 1918 to "For International Socialism", reflecting increasing opposition to Parliamentarism in the party.[10]

On 19 June 1920 Workers' Dreadnought was adopted as the official weekly organ of the Communist Party (British Section of the Third International).[11] Pankhurst continued publishing the newspaper until June 1924.[12]


  1. Davis, Mary (1999). Sylvia Pankhurst: A Life in Radical Politics. London: Pluto Press. p. 55. ISBN 0745315232.
  2. "Workers' Dreadnought". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. Date: 8 March 1914 (1) Newspaper: Woman's Dreadnought, accessed 29 February 2020
  4. The Woman's Dreadnought March 14 1914, accessed 29 February 2020
  5. First World War > War Literature > Workers' Dreadnought, accessed 29 February 2020
  6. Discovering the unsung heros of the suffragette movement in the heart of the East End Image of paper number 10, 23 May 1914,, accessed 29 February 2020
  7. Ian Bullock, Romancing the Revolution: The Myth of Soviet Democracy and the British Left, p.239
  8. Rosemary Betterton, An Intimate Distance: Women, Artists and the Body, p.73
  9. M. A. S. Shipway, Anti-Parliamentary Communism in Britain 1917-1945, vol.1, p.26
  10. M. A. S. Shipway, Anti-Parliamentary Communism in Britain 1917-1945, vol.1, pp.31-32
  11. 'Communist Party (British Section of the Third International)', Workers' Dreadnought, Vol VII No.14 26 June 1919 p
  12. M. A. S. Shipway, Anti-Parliamentary Communism in Britain 1917-1945, vol.1, p.191