been between 1906 and 1910: in November 1907 The Socialist Standard reported that the quarter ending in September 1907 "saw a record in the number of new members." (4) The report of thefourth Annual Conference, in April 1908, referred to one hundred and seventy new members beingrecruited in one year. (5) The fifth Annual Conference reported one hundred and fifty five newmembers over the year. (6) Not only did membership increase, but new branches were formed. Atits formation the SPGB's branches were mainly in areas where old SDF branches had been takenover, or where there had been splits from SDP branches. The first non-London branch to be formedwas in Watford. The only significant area of growth outside London was in Lancashire: a branchwas formed in Manchester in October 1907 which was to be very active. A branch in Burnley wasalso active, no doubt with the help of Manchester members. The only SPGB existence in Scotland,where the SLP had recruited most of the early impossibilists, was in the small north-eastern fishingtown of Fraserburgh; the latter biranch existed from August 1910 to May 1911. A few brancheswere formed outside London as a result of London members moving: for example, an active branchwas formed in Gravesend as a result of a dynamic speaker called Dawkins moving there.The outbreak of war in 1914 led to the disorganisation of branches and a scattering of themembership. In March 1916 The Military Service Act forced most of the youngeir male members toeitheir join the armed forrces or face severe legal penalties. The EC passed a resolution declaringthat any member- voluntarily joining the armed forces would be required to resign from partymembership. As a result, several members, forced by domestic and other pressures, resigned fromthe SPGB in order to fight. Most members refused to take up arms: a few remained in prison from1916 until the end of the war? several members formed 'the flying corps' 'so called because theyremained on the run. from the authorities, relying upon the help of other socialists and their-ownwits in order to survive. The resignation of members who joined the armed forces, the loss of contact with socialists in prison or on the run, and the. domestic pressures upon older-members andwomen who were able to retain their-membership resulted in a dramatic fall in official SPGB.membership. In January 1919 there were approximately eighty members. This increased to onehundred and twenty in 1920 and one hundred and ninety seven at the beginning of 1921. So,seventeen years after the formation of the. SPGB its membership was only fifty greater than it had been in June 1904. That comparative statistic, as can be derived from the above information, isdeceptive: in 1921 there were several hundred SPGBers who did not hold official membership, butwould, in many cases, filter-back into the organisation during the 1920s.The membership of the SPGB was not marked by any narrow sociological characteristic. Like most political parties, the SPGB had a mainly male membership: only sixteen of the founder memberswere women and, of these, ten were wives, sisters or daughters of male members. There is noevidence of discrimination against women members, when major organisational responsibilitieswere being distributed: Hilda Kohn, the sister of the prominent SPGB speaker- and writer-, AdolphKohn, was the General Secretary during the war years. A number of the early members were of Irishor Jewish origin, but not proportionately more so than in other- 'revolutionary' organisations of the period. A striking feature of the early membership was its age: many of the prominent foundingmembers, were in their twenties - hardly any were over forty. The youth of the impossibilistscounted against their political credibility; these, it was suggested, were the "young men in a hurry".For example, Alex Anderson, the most prominent and successful impossibilist orator of the period,was only twenty three when he took an active part in the formation of the SPGB; in 1926, when hedied of arterio-sclerosis, he had given twenty two years of his life to the SPGB.It is worth giving brief consideration to the biographical details of some of the most typical of theearly members of the SPGB. These sketches are intended to indicate the varied nature of the earlymembership, rather than to provide' exhaustive biographical accounts or" to refer to all of theSPGB's most active or prominent members.