The one man of all Keir Hardie's associates most fitted to write an account of his life and work was the late J. Bruce Glasier. His knowledge of the Labour and Socialist movement in all its phases and aspects, his long and close intimacy with Hardie both in public and private life, his sympathetic perception of the motives and environment and heredity which went to the formation of Hardie's character, and influenced his actions, and his own fine gift of literary expression, qualified him above all others to be Keir Hardie's biographer.
The Fates ruled otherwise. Before Mr. Glasier had begun to collect and assort the material for the work, he was himself stricken with the illness, which, heroically borne through two years of pain, ended in his death. It was at Mr. Glasier's request while on his bed of sickness that I, not very confidently, undertook the work. The Memorial Committee adopted Mr. Glasier's suggestion that I should be appointed to take his place. The work therefore came to me both as a request and as a command. I have performed it to the best of my ability; whether well or ill, must be left to the judgment of others.
To those friends who were most familiar with Keir Hardie's habits of life it will be unnecessary to explain that the task has not been quite easy.