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


There were 40 recorded strikes in 1935, spread over 16 prisons. As the tables below show, every strike during this year lasted less than three weeks except for one, which went on for 165 days. While nearly a third of the prisoners refused to give a reason for their hunger strike, most of those who gave reasons generally complained about their punishment, the prison diet, or the conditions in prison. More than half of the strikes (26 out of 40), have no record of force feeding.

There is no evidence of a coordinated group strike in 1935. By far the longest strike of the year was carried out by Henry Gordon Everett. In September 1935, Everett was sent to Wandsworth for attempted suicide. He began his hunger strike on November 2, and did not resume taking food before his release on April 15, 1936, 165 days later. During his strike, officials used a nasal tube to force feed Everett 474 times, nearly three times per day. Everett went on a hunger strike to get release from prison, citing Section 17.6 of the 1914 Criminal Justice Administration Act. This clause gave the Secretary of State the authority to transfer prisoners to the necessary facilities to get the treatment they needed for disease, injury, or illness. But the record does not indicate what ailment Everett had which he thought required special treatment.

Another interesting case from 1935 was that of Albert Kennelly. Kennelly was serving 5 months in Pentonville for making his living "on the earnings of prostitution." In July 1935 he went on a 21 day hunger strike to protest his wife's wrongful conviction. While the record does not go into detail, given the nature of his conviction, it is possible that his wife was also involved in prostitution. But Kennelly's altruism did not last. Two weeks later he went on a second hunger strike for 4 days, this time complaining about the food in prison. 

Duration of Strikes

This table includes all 40 strikes from 1935.

Notable Strikes, 1935

Henry Gordon Everett

Henry Gordon Everett

Albert Kennelly

Albert Kennelly First Strike
Albert Kennelly Second Strike