David Organ

David Organ (1876 – 1954) was born in Oldcroft in West Dean, the son of a farm labourer. He started work in one of the Parkend collieries at the age of thirteen. Organ married Kate Phipps, the daughter of a local stonemason in September 1896. Soon after their marriage, they moved to Derby where Organ worked as a railway porter. They then moved to Rotherham where their first two children were born. However, in 1900, the family returned to the Forest and moved into a small cottage in Pillowell and Organ gained work at Norchard Colliery in Lydney as a coal hewer. The family supplemented their income by selling confectionary and fish and chips. In 1911, Organ was working as a checkweighman at Norchard Colliery and remained in this post until he retired from colliery work in 1939. In the December 1913 election of officers for the FDMA Executive, Organ was elected Vice President, a role he held until 1919.  In 1917, his family moved to a larger house just down the road from their old one. By this time the family had grown to nine children. He was elected President of the FDMA in 1919, a post he held until 1939.[1]


[1] These biographical details have been taken from David M Organ, The Life and Times of David Richard Organ, Leading the Forest Miners’ Struggle, (Cheltenham: Apex, 2011).

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