- Hits: 2206
Frank was a member of the Communist Party's youth wing, the YCL, and subsequently the Party itself without break from 1937, from when he was a mere 13 years of age. He was from the first a consistent and very active anti-fascist, particularly in street agitation and is known to have been used in some undisclosed but `undercover' way when very young.
Through working with such aspects of the Party's organisational needs, he began a life-long interest in the anti-imperialist struggle, especially after carrying out unknown duties in Belfast in 1940, and then subsequently during the second world war. Though Frank was still very reluctant, in his final years, to talk about events that were seven decades ago, he did let slip only a short while before his death that he was a frequent visitor during the war across the channel, but had no official permission, no passport, and was not a member of the armed forces! It may be speculated that some Party duty relating to underground continental forces was involved.
He then worked in the Nottinghamshire coalfield and, because of his underground engineering skills, was asked to assist in more official war duties associated with bombed out ruins. But, by the 1950s, he had became a newspaper proof-reader and sub-editor, which led him to become a lecturer in associated fields, which took him to Lincoln. An activist in the college lecturers' union NATFHE, Frank then became part of the Birmingham scene. His entire family were and are connected to the YCL and Party. Frank was a consistent supporter of Marxism in the inner-party struggles of the 1970s-80s and was a loyal member of the Communist Party of Britain.
A longstanding activist on Birmingham TUC, he was made an honorary life member of the Council for his long and consistent membership but was delighted when, at the age of 89, his union, the UCU, founded retired members' branches and he was promptly elected a "new" delegate. As is customary, new delegates are asked to introduce themselves and Frank promptly advised the council he had been attending for over half a century of his intention to vote with care but relish!
A regular attender at his Party branch meetings, in the same year, Frank was elected a full delegate to the Communist Party's national congress and played an active part in all the deliberations, including, to his great satisfaction since he was a firm supporter of the Peace Process, influencing the Party's position regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. He was also a regular visitor to the whole island of Ireland with his wife Audrey, who predeceased him, and where they had many friends.
Frank passed away in 2014 at the age of 90 years.