Mounted special constables' camp, Auckland Domain, 1913

Mounted special constables' camp, Auckland Domain, 1913

The mounted special constables’ camp in the Auckland Domain, November 1913. 

On the morning of 8 November, 800 mounted specials moved from the Domain to invade the wharves. Since the beginning of November mounted specials had been coming into Auckland from rural areas to the south. They were initially housed at a camp in Ōtāhuhu, but began assembling at the camp on the Domain from 6 November. In the early hours of 8 November mounted and foot specials, along with regular police, descended on the wharves. They caught the strikers by surprise and took over the wharves without a struggle.

Auckland was a major centre for union militants, in particular members of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), known as the ‘Wobblies’. When the specials occupied the wharves on 8 November, Auckland’s workers responded with a general strike that eventually involved at least 6000 workers.

Among those who struck on 8 November were the workers building the facilities at the Auckland exhibition site in the Domain. The scenic railway at the Auckland Exhibition can be seen in the background of the Domain camp photo (click on thumbnail for larger version). 

See more images of the 1913 strike in Auckland here (Flickr)

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