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Fred Sykes

 

Fred Sykes was a Communist activist who lived in Dryden Street, Leicester. He was active in the local unemployed and anti-fascist movement in Leicester from around 1932.

 

In August 1936, he was arrested and removed from the platform by the police whilst speaking in the Market Place. He was summoned for “shouting and behaving in a disorderly way”, although the case was dismissed.

 

Not long after, he volunteered to fight with the International Brigade in Spain but was killed in the battle of Jamara in February 1937, a few months after his arrival.

 

A special memorial meeting was held in the Market Place to honour him. Bill Smith (see separate entry) said that: “Those that know him can visualise that Comrade Sykes would be in the forefront where danger was concerned. This party has lost its finest comrade and its finest trade unionist.”

 

Sources: Leicester Evening Mail 11th January 1933, 14th September 1936, Leicester Mercury 19th July 1937; http://www.nednewitt.webspace.virginmedia.com/whoswho/