Ebby Edwards, Secretary of the MFGB and the Miners' International Federation, giving a speech on the BBC in 1941 to encourage coal production as part of the struggle against fascism.
Some bits from his ODNB entry are below. Enormous thanks to the Mining Institute in Newcastle for digitizing this from the original 78s. Support them if you can, they're great.
"Edwards, Ebenezer [Ebby] (1884–1961), trade unionist, was born at Chevington, Northumberland, one of 11 children... After attending elementary school, Ebby, as he was invariably known, began work in the mines in 1896, mainly at Ashington. In 1908 he left the pit to take up a miners' scholarship at Ruskin College. ...Edwards left after ten months because of economic hardship and returned to the mines. In 1909 a student revolt at Ruskin over curriculum content led some of the students and a sacked lecturer, with the encouragement of the MFGB, to set up a rival institution. The Plebs League originated from this revolt and established Marxist discussion groups in many parts of the country. From this grew the National Council of Labour Colleges. Edwards sympathized with the 1909 secessionists and, influenced by Marxism, he joined the Plebs League, becoming one of the foremost advocates of radical socialism among the Northumberland miners. He was a leading advocate and practitioner of adult education in the Northumberland coalfield, helping persuade the union to send students to the Central Labour College. In 1906 he joined the ILP but left in 1909, thereafter concentrating on union politics.
At the May 1929 general election Edwards was elected as Labour MP for Morpeth, Robert Smillie's old seat. ... He lost his seat in the October 1931 general election and did not stand again for parliament, concentrating on union work. Vice-president of the MFGB in 1930, he was elected president in 1931. When A. J. Cook died in November 1931 Edwards was elected his successor as MFGB secretary.
During the 1930s Edwards was, perhaps, the key figure in MFGB politics. ...Edwards was an internationalist, a committed anti-fascist, and anti-appeaser. He was treasurer and then secretary of the Miners' International Federation, committing both that organization and MFGB to anti-fascism, both internationally and domestically. In the Second World War he strongly supported the production drive in the pits, serving on the Coal Production Council from 1940. As well as negotiating for the MFGB he was central in establishing the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which came into being on 1 January 1945. He served as the NUM's first general secretary. In 1944 and 1945 he was chairman of the TUC, and in 1946 received the TUC's gold medal; he attended the United Mine Workers of America conference in 1944 and, in 1945, the United Nations in San Francisco.
...One of Edwards's first tasks [as NCB labour relations manager] was to negotiate the implementation of the miners' charter, which he had written while NUM general secretary. In common with all miners' leaders of his generation, Edwards was deeply committed to making nationalization a success. ...Edwards was undoubtedly a man of the left. [H]e was convinced the MFGB must recreate itself so as to deal on equal terms with the employers and the state. While he was determined never to repeat the experience of 1926, he did not conclude that this entailed never striking. ...
Those who worked with Edwards commented on his good humour, intelligence, and calmness; and a Conservative secretary of mines contrasted favourably his tactical sense and flexibility with the coal owners' intransigence. ‘Stocky, thin featured and clean-shaven, often cloth-capped, with humorous blue eyes’ (DNB), he looked in many ways the archetypal miner of the period. He never forgot his origins and never accepted a knighthood, mischievously telling Arthur Horner that what put him off was seeing how Walter Citrine was always overcharged after receiving his knighthood."