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28 March 2014

The Returning Officer: Nottingham West

By Stephen Brasher

Thomas O’Brien was Labour MP for Nottingham West (1945-50 and 1955-59) and Nottingham North West (1950-55). In 1915, he lied about his age to enlist and fought in the Dardanelles. His Labour predecessor, Arthur Hayday (1918-31 and 1935-45), started working at the age of nine, including time in the merchant marine. He was elected in 1918 as a Labour supporter of the war. Hayday had at least 17 children. His son Harold, who also served in the merchant marine, drowned in 1917.

Hayday lost in 1931 to the Tory Arthur Cecil Caporn, who had served in the Royal Field Artillery until he was invalided out in 1916. He then transferred to intelligence work.

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