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Sarah the Striker

May 24, 2020

Sarah Chapman, East London
A campaign for a memorial to Sarah Chapman is underway. She was one of the leaders of the Match Girls Strike at the Bryant and May match factory in Bow, East London.  Despite being only a young girl and dependant upon her income she was brave enough to strike for better pay and conditions. Sarah is ringed in red in this photo.

The Match Girls’ strike is credited with sparking a social revolution, changing working conditions and labour relations across Britain. It came about because of the ‘white slavery’ practised by the factory owners Bryant & May, who paid ‘starvation wages’ and subjected workers to the horrible health risks of working with phosphorous which caused irreversable damage to the jaws