The period between 1908 and 1914 was known as 'The Great Unrest' as Britain experienced a number of major industrial conflicts during this time. In Wales, coal miners employed at the Cambrian Combine Collieries went on strike, clashing with troops at Tonypandy in 1910, while a strike by the seamen of Cardiff in 1911 led to attacks on members of the town's Chinese community.

During the summer of 1911 a national railway strike brought chaos to many parts of the country and troops were called in to keep the trains running. On Thursday, 17 August, strikers at Llanelli held up the trains at one of the level crossings in the town. The following day, when troops were called to clear the line, events got out of hand, the Riot Act was read, shots were fired, and two innocent men (Leonard Worsell and John John) were killed. Later that day, a crowd attacked the house and business premises of one of the magistrates who had been present at the earlier incident. At about the same time, railway trucks carrying detonators were set on fire, causing an explosion which killed four people and injured many others.

This photograph shows a soldier shaving at the Lancashire Regiment's camp outside Llanelli during the strike.

Further reading:
John Edwards, 'Remembrance of a Riot: the story of the Llanelli Railway Strike Riots of 1911' (Llanelli Borough Council, 1988).

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