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Hunger Strikes in British Prisons, 1913-1940  > 
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Hunger Strike in British Prisons 1913-1940


There were 27 recorded strikes in 1924, spread over 10 prisons. The table below, which is skewed by one 681 day strike, actually shows that half of the strikes lasted less than one week. The tables also show that in nearly half of the cases officials did not resort to force feeding. In addition, the largest group of striking prisoners, 11 out of 27, refused to give a reason for their strike. 

There is no evidence of a coordinated group strike in 1924, but the longest strike of the record started during this year. George Ingram, sentenced to 6 years at Parkhurst for burglary, went on a hunger strike on June 3, 1924 without giving a reason. Officials used an oesophagal tube to force feed Ingram three times a day until his strike ended on April 15, 1926, 681 days later. 

The second longest strike of 1924 was carried out by Patrick John O'Freddy, who had been sentenced to 18 months hard labor at Bristol for housebreaking and stealing. On March 10, O'Freddy began a hunger strike claiming that he would continue "until he gets justice." His strike lasted until May 15, 66 days, during which official did not force feed him. O'Freddy went on a second strike in December for five days, but he refused to give a reason for it.

Also in 1924 was the strike of Mahamed Abdullah. On August 29, 1924, Abdullah was sentenced to one month hard labor at Swansea for "Breach of Aliens Act," likely a reference to the 1919 Aliens Restriction Act, which restricted the rights of aliens living in Britain. Less than a week after his sentencing, Abdullah went on a 2 day hunger strike claiming that he had done nothing wrong and would eat no food while in prison.   

Duration of Strikes

This table includes the 23 strikes for which there was a definite start and end date. 

There were 4 strikes for which the length could not be determined, due to a missing start date, end date, or both.

Notable Strikes, 1924

George Ingram

George Ingram

Patrick John O'Freddy

Patrick John O'Freddy First Strike
Patrick John O'Freddy Second Strike

Mahamed Abdullah

Mahamed Abdullah