Arthur Jordan was born 24th January 1918 in Stratford upon Avon, his father was a postman and his mother ran the refreshment room at
Through her efforts he attended the prestigious
He started work as a booking clerk for the LMS railway at Stratford station until World War Two, as a committed pacifist he chose to work in agriculture rather than join the Forces and it is believed he initially secured work in the West Midlands working with traction engines and was involved in Stratford branch of the NUAW, which he established in 1943. According to Warwickshire NUAW organiser F. Harrison,stated "the fact that there were now some 10 times as many branches in Warkshire as in 1939 was in no small due to Mr Jordan's efforts, for he travelled many miles and visited many villages in his enthusisam to organise rural workers" ( In October 1944 He stood as Labour candiate for Guild Ward in the Stratford municiple election)
In April 1945, twenty eight year old Jordan secured the post of Dorset Organiser for the National Union of Agricultural Workers , a post he held for the next 17 years from 1945-1962.(succeeding the late Alderman Fred C. James) He proved to be very popular and successful and it was said that he was loved by the membership in Dorset but hated by the right wing union leadership of the union.
In 1952 it was reported that the union represented 90% of all agricultural labourers in the
His tireless efforts ensured the remarkable achievement of 100% union membership in the villages of Sutton Waldron, Fontmell Magna and Tarrant Hinton. A contemporary article in `Land & Labour’ stated that only in counties of
Jordan was also the Tolpuddle Martyrs rally organiser and therefore also a regular speaker at the event, galvanising it into a memorable and permanent feature of the labour movement’s calendar. This was no mean feat. In 1952, there were only some 500 (some newspapers said 200) turning up for the annual Tolpuddle rally. The Labour Party also threatened to boycott it due to the heavy Communist involvement.
He organised visits to the
Jordan who on arrival in Dorset had been in the Labour Party, had like some of the best union organisers Wilf Page (Norfolk) Dunman (Oxfordshire) Savage (Essex) and Wogan Phillips (Glos).
He was a capable organiser also for the Communist Party as well, serving for a period of 12 years on the Party’s Executive Committee. In 1956 the CP had finally established monthly meetings in Dorset, A branch of 13 at Blandford (where he lived) had been established in 1950, Jordan reporting in the Communist Party’s `World News & Views’ in April 1958: “Over the years we have had successes and failures but whilst we cannot claim to have increased the size of the party in Dorset or to have established the Party as a political force we do feel prod that these comrades isolated as they are should have remained steadfast during the recent difficult period” (Dorset lost 4 members over the Hungary invasion.) The local Party women also organised a market stall at Christmas time in Blandford to sell food, toys, and clothes.
Despite doubling the union's membership in
1) Writing an article in the Dorset N.U.A.W. Bulletin demanding higher pay for farm workers and contrasting their pay with that of the police and mentioning the latter's method of dealing with ban-the-bomb demonstrators.
2) Accepting an invitation to speak to Salisbury Trades Council before obtaining the permission of the General Secretary, although no date had been fixed and he had made it clear to the T.C. secretary on the phone that he should have to have Head Office permission.
3) Writing an article (albeit in a strictly personal capacity) about British agriculture in " Land and Labour," a journal of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
4) Reporting in the
5) Reporting (correctly) in the article that large numbers of resolutions were calling for a more determined attitude by the Executive Committee to secure a £10 wage for farm workers.
6) Inviting a member of the
This was not the first time that the EC had interviewed
He then moved to
On his retirement from Collett’s in 1969 he moved to the
He had one daughter, Rachel, by his first marriage and died on
Research by Michael Walker, sources various editions of the Country Standard
(Blandford was also where the National Union of Agricultural Workers Dorset office at 5 The Cliff, Bryanston also living in the village )
Fabian member, first wife daughter of a farmer, 5 years land army
Jordan Lived initially at Winterbourne Kingston then Blandford
1948 the National Union of Agricultural Workers (NUAW) had 112 branches in Dorset