Two Islands One paradise - Beautiful St. Kitts and Nevis
  Buckleys Riot

               THE VICTIMS OF 1935

 DEAD: Joseph Samuel; John Allen;  James Archibald             
Alfred Rogers; Cyril Tyson;  William Fowle; Samuel
Woodley; Ellsworth Selkridge;  Charles Moving; 
 Olive Allen;
Virginia Greaux;  Joseph Williams


 1934 December Wade Estate paid the workers a Christmas bonus
of 8d per ton of cane cut. Other estates paid only 3d per ton cut.
A few estates
refused to pay any bonus to their workers.
 1935 December cane fires on several estates near
 20th January Estate workers from all over the island attended a
Universal Benevolent Association meeting called by J. Nathan,
Secretary who advised them that since there would be no increase
in the price of cane for the 1935 crop, the planters would not be in 
a position to grant a wage increase and that 1934 wages should be
accepted. This advice was disappointing to many and some left the
meeting saying the UBA had been bribed. 
  Thomas Manchester attempted to persuade the estates to institute
annual bonus and to make their agreement public before the start
of crop. The planters refused to commit to this.

26th January The Daily Bulletin said: “With regard to labour, at no time has the agricultural labourer been more satisfied with the treatment accorded him than last year, and there is every confidence that he will receive the same terms or even better this year without co-ersion.” 
  28th January cane cutter at Buckley’s asked the manager, E.D.B.
Dobridge, for wages of 1/-per ton. Dobride refused and the workers
went out on strike.
The strikers marched to Shadwell Estate persuading the workers there to join the strike. 

  Estate workers, lead by a big drum started a march to other estates.   
  At about noon, the marchers, now numbering 300 and 400 arrived
Mules and cattle which were harnessed were taken out and the working gear damaged to prevent any use being made of the cars.
  In the early afternoon the march reached Lodge. The owner, Philip Todd informed the marchers that they were trespassing and told them to leave.
Todd was struck down. He called for a shotgun. The marchers attacked him, broke his gun and
beat him and forced him and his servants into the house.
  At Willets’ the overseer was seized and ordered to produce a bill so
that the working gear of the carts could be disabled. 
  Major Duke and a eight armed policemen overtook the march at
Estridge, arrested 5 leaders. The crowd now numbered between 200 and 300. 
  It was expected that following this incident, the crowd would disperse but Major Duke was instructed to keep his men on the alert. 
  29th January very few workers went out to work except at Estridge and 
Bellevue estates. Another large demonstration was on the road heading west. 
  At Saddlers the crowd stopped outside a shop and ordered a labourer, Jonathan Moore, to join the march. He refused and was struck on the head with a piece of metal piping. 

  At West Farm, estate workers were ordered to down tools. 
  At 3.00 p.m a large crowd invaded Buckley’s Estate. Dobridge warned them with his shotgun and then fired hitting some with pellets. The crowd became infuriated. The police arrived on the scene and the strikers demanded that Dobridge and Pond, his overseer, be arrested for shooting at them. 
  At 5.00 p.m Major Duke left the force to report to the Governor and
requested that he let out the Defence Force and the Defence Reserve.
  Magistrate Bell went into town and returned with Rev. Williams of the Moravian Church, Thomas Manchester and Victor John of the Workers’ League and Clement Malone a member of the Executive Council.
  The crowd listened to
Manchester’s plea for order and many left with him but a large number remained behind at Buckley’s.
  Forces were despatched to Buckley’s.
  At 6.00 p.m. the Governor asks for the warship to be sent to St. Kitts from Bermuda and reinforcements from the police force in
  The Riot Act was read. Stones were thrown at the armed forces.
  From 6.15 to 7.00 p.m. the armed forces attempted to direct the crowdaway from Buckley’s on to the main road. The law enforcement was unable to control the crowd and after repeated warnings, shots were fired. Three men were killed and eight wounded.
  At 9.30 p.m. all was quiet.
  30th January at 2.30 a.m. The Lady Nelson arrived in St. Kitts with the additional men from
  In the morning large bodies of men were still calling out workers to strike.
Cane fields in the vicinity of
Basseterre were burnt.
  31st January the HMS Leander arrived in St. Kitts.

           “We wanted something for ourselves and for our children,
                         so we took a chance with our lives”


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