On Friday, 21st June, at a special event at the Orangery on Back Lane, Wakefield, members of the Society and invited guests assembled to see Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield and Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, unveil the Society's latest blue plaque.
The new plaque commemorates the life of Arthur Greenwood (1880-1954), former MP for Wakefield (1932-1954).
Greenwood first became MP for Nelson and Colne in 1922 but lost his seat at the general election in 1931. In 1932, he stood at a by-election in Wakefield and was elected. He went on to become deputy leader of the Labour party (from 1935 to 1943) under Clement Atlee. Having opposed the government's policy of appeasement against Nazi Germany in the run up to World War II, he entered Churchill's war cabinet from 1940 to 1943. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1942 to 1945.
Greenwood was instrumental in establishing the NHS and National Insurance scheme as part of the government's planning for post-war restructuring.
He remained MP for Wakefield until his death in 1954.
The Society is pleased to acknowledge the donations from the following who together made this plaque possible: Wakefield Civic Society committee member David Atkinson (former Labour Councillor for Wakefield and former Mayor of Wakefield), Mary Creagh, MP, David Hinchliffe (former MP for Wakefield), and the Wakefield Constituency Labour Party.
The plaque will be erected at Greenwood House, George Street, Wakefield, courtesy of Wakefield District Housing who now manage this block of flats.
Our photo shows from left to right - David Atkinson, Mary Creagh, Society President Kevin Trickett, Councillor Hilary Mitchell, Mark Thorpe of Wakefield District Housing and David Hinchliffe.