(1890–1978), Labour politician, writer, and educationalist. He was born at Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh, the youngest son of a brass foundry proprietor. After leaving school at 14, he went to work as a clerk for an Edinburgh foundry, completing his education at a Heriot Watt evening class. During the First World War, Woodburn joined the ILP (see Labourism) and became a conscientious objector. After speaking at No-Conscription Union meetings, he was arrested in September 1916, court-martialled for failing ‘to obey the lawful command of a superior officer’, and imprisoned under the authority of the Scottish Secretary until 1919. He spent much of the time in solitary confinement, refusing to work for the military.
From The Oxford Companion to Scottish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: British History.