Walter Strickland, the son of Sir Charles Strickland (1819-1909) was born in Westminister on 26th May, 1851. The family estate was in Yorkshire. According to John Taylor Caldwell: "Walter was an eccentric. He preferred books to the pursuits of normal young men of his class, and had no interest in sport, drink, gambling or women. His father was disappointed and disgusted. One day when he was having it out with Walter (probably not for the first time) about his unsatisfactory life-style, and the fact that he was nearing forty and still not married, Walter rose from the table and, so the story goes, proposed to the first girl he met, who happened to be the kitchen maid."
In the early 1890s Strickland went to live abroad and eventually settled in Java. He became a strong opponent of imperialism. In 1909 Guy Aldred was sentenced to twelve months hard labour for printing the August issue of The Indian Sociologist, an Indian nationalist newspaper edited by Shyamji Krishnavarma. Strickland heard of Aldred's action and sent him a telegram of congratulation to the prison and a cheque for £10.
Sir Walter Strickland died on 9th August 1938. He left Guy Aldred £3,000 and with this money he bought some second-hand printing machinery and established The Strickland Press. Over the next 25 years Aldred published regular issues of the United Socialist Movement organ, The Word and various pamphlets on anarchism.
Walter William Strickland was born at Westminster in 1851. The family estate was in Yorkshire. Walter was an eccentric. He preferred books to the pursuits of normal young men of his class, and had no interest in sport, drink, gambling or women. His father was disappointed and disgusted. One day when he was having it out with Walter (probably not for the first time) about his unsatisfactory life-style, and the fact that he was nearing forty and still not married, Walter rose from the table and, so the story goes, proposed to the first girl he met, who happened to be the kitchen maid. It is certain that he did not attempt to live in married bliss, but, on an allowance from his furious father, went abroad in the early 1890s and never set foot in Britain again. The estate was entailed, so it remained intact, but when Walter inherited his father's money he withdrew it from Britain and invested it all abroad, from Brazil to Japan. Most of this money was lost because he died as the Second World War broke out, but enough was saved to found the Press in his name...
Aldred and Strickland met only once, and that was for a week in 1912. They visited several towns in France for hasty meetings with exiles, ending in Paris where they stayed with Krishnavarma. Strickland hoped that Guy would accompany him on his travels as companion-secretary, but it was not Aldred's nature to be aide-de-camp to any man. So Aldred returned to England. Over the years Strickland sent him contributions for the Cause, but they were irregular, so that there could be no forward-planning on the assumption of Sir Walter's help. It was not always a smooth friendship, for both men had minds of their own, and never trimmed a sail to catch the other's breeze...
Guy Aldred had not heard from Sir Walter Strickland for several years when, late in 1937, a letter arrived. Alarmed by the approach of war, Sir Walter, who was 87 and intended to live to be 100, asked to have his letter published as an appeal to men of science to stop "this march of homicide". He said that he intended to come to Britain, where he had not been for fifty years, and to visit Glasgow, which was the best centre from which to operate. With Aldred's help he would launch a peace campaign, using his wealth (which "was considerable" - reckoned to be about £ 100,000) to bring influential world figures together. Guy had the letter, which was three thousand words long, published in The Malton Messenger, the local paper covering the region of the Strickland estates in Yorkshire, and in the Cambridge University paper Varsity. However, Sir Walter died in August 1938.
The Yorkshire estate was entailed. His money was left for the furtherance of peace, and Guy Aldred was the executor. Unfortunately, Strickland had been so opposed to Imperial Britain that he invested all his money abroad, and in countries which were at war with Britain before the will was probated. Only a fraction of it was recovered (about £3,000) enough to buy some second-hand machinery and re-establish the Bakunin Press, but it was called the Strickland Press in memory of Sir Walter. The Strickland Press was established at 104-106 George Street, facing Albion Street, Glasgow.