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


With 11 recorded strikes spread over 6 prisons, 1928 was part of a span of years in which there were relatively few hunger strikes. As the tables below show, 8 of the 11 strikes with a known start and end date lasted one week or less. 

There is no evidence of coordinated group strikes, especially given the small number of strikes and how spread out they were (no prison had more than 3 strikes). But despite the small total number, there were a few notable strikes in 1928. The first were the three strikes which lasted more than a week, all performed by Thomas Price. In October 1927 Price was convicted of larceny and sentenced to 15 months hard labor at Birmingham. While at Birmingham he went on a hunger strike three separate times in 1928: for 12 days in March, for 36 days in April-May, and for 21 days in June. During each strike prison officials used a soft mouth tube to force-feed Price, on average about one and half times per day. Although he refused to give a reason for the third strike, the first two both had the same reason: "wants transfer to Gloster."

The second notable hunger strike was that of Michael Burke, who was remanded to Brixton after being arrested for possessing firearms without a permit. Burke went on a hunger strike for 2 days demanding treatment as a political prisoner. According to the record prison officials did not force-feed him during his strike.    

Duration of Strikes

This table includes all 11 strikes from 1928. 

Notable Strikes, 1928

Thomas Price

Thomas Price First Strike
Thomas Price Second Strike
Thomas Price Third Strike

Michael Burke

Michael Burke