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From Edinburgh he saw poverty and unemployment in his youth and joined the Scots Guards to avoid starvation. Seeing the role of imperialism in the colonies turned him towards Communism.
This military service made him an invaluable volunteer for the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. After being wounded, he became a machine gun instructor and commanded the British Battalion's machine gun company in the Ebro offensive.
He settled in London after the Spanish war and became an AEU shop steward a Napier's and later at London airport.
On his retirement, he acted as treasurer of the Uxbridge pensioners' association and chair of the International Brigades Association.
Source: Morning Star 4th July 1989