Arthur Horner (1894-1968) was a miners' leader from the 1926 general strike to his retirement as general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1959. During his life he played a crucial role in the fight for a national mineworkers union, and in the development of the National Coal Board. He was a champion of the Republicans in Spain, was imprisoned several times for his views, and was in constant demand as a speaker. But it was his warmth, good humour and enthusiasm which made 'little Arthur', as he was affectionately known by his union colleagues, really memorable. Horner was a committed communist, but was also able to exercise effective leadership in a major trade union committed to social democratic principles, playing a key role in the social democratic settlement after the second world war.