The Bevin Boys Association
In 1943 this country faced a crisis in coal production as there was only three weeks of coal stock available. This put the country’s ability to win the Second World War in jeopardy.
The then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, charged Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour and National Service to increase coal production.
Mr Bevin decided that from all 18 to 24 year old men conscripts drafted to serve in the armed forces one in ten were to be directed – on pain of imprisonment and irrespective of background or ability - to work underground in British coal mines.
Approximately 48,000 Bevin Boys (as they came to be known) undertook unskilled manual jobs to release more experienced miners to move on to coal production at the coal face.
The role played by Bevin Boys should not be lost to history.
Reproduced with the permission of