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A brief biography of Bill Clarke 

by Graham Stevenson

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William Lawrie Clarke

Born in March 1897, a native of St Ives, his family left for Barry, South Wales, to find work. 

In turn, Clarke worked for Great Western Railways, joining ASLEF in 1912.

Like so many young men of his generation, Clarke signed up in 1914 and served at the front and later in a railway battalion.

Although turning to the Labour Party when he came back from France, Clarke would join the Communist Party in 1942 and stayed with it until his death.

He was a life-long ASLEF member, serving as branch secretary in Banbury and on local departmental committees.

He took early retirement to return to Cornwall, where he worked as an engine driver and later as a foreman with the English China Clays Co.

A guest speaker for Devon and Cornwall radio in his last years, he reached many thousands of people with his strong views, especially on war.

Clarke died aged 91 in 1988.

Source undated report from Alfred Jenkin in the Morning Star