W

Webb Harry

Harry Webb

The brother of Lily Webb (after marriage, she was called Ferguson – see separate entry in that name), Harry Webb was the representative of the Ashton Communist Unity Group at the Communist Unity Convention that founded the Party in the summer of 1920.

He was a leading figure already in the group of Socialist Labour Party members who favoured a new party and was especially to the fore in being vigilant about the role of bureaucrats and the Party elite, especially the Labourite intellectuals who favoured the Party in its first four years. He was on his feet within minutes of the Unity Congress, demanding to know whether congress business had been discussed at a gathering held the night before at which refreshments were available to certain `big wigs’!

Harry was also one of the many Communists campaigning at the Party first electoral outing in Caerphilly in 1921. He also spoke at the 1925 Party congress as a delegate from Sheffield. His speech, like all speeches then, had something of a millenarian feel to it. But he was also seemingly already conscious of an argument that was already brewing into a heady mix that would take Communists off into a distinctly left course.

Harry told the 1925 congress: “Capitalism, confronted with a desperate situation, especially takes repressive measures against the communist parties that are deeply rooted in the masses of the workers and peasants Capitalism is confronted with two great problems. Firstly the imminence of Imperialist war secondly the growing strength of the Socialist Revolution.”

Harry Webb, was adopted the Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Ashton in 1947 but, although the contest was maintained in the 1950 election, in the end, for whatever reason, Harry was not the final candidate. 

Harry and Lily were probably twins (their birth registration dates being unfeasibly close for nature). But there were certainly other siblings, including one called John.  One J (Jack) F Webb (see separate entry) stood for the Communist Party in the 1950 general electon in Bristol  but it is not clear if this was a brother, although Harry also lived in Bristol for a time.