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Born in 1900 in the mining village of High Spen in County Durham, George Short started working at the pit at the age of 14 and took an active part in the coal strikes of 1921 and 1926, leading to his exclusion from working at in coal mines. He was a delegate to the Labour Representation Committee before he joined the Communist Party in 1926, remaining committed to Communism for the rest of his days. Short was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1929 and much later served on the Appeals Committee for many years.
From 1930, Short spent two years in Moscow’s, attending the Lenin school for a year and working for the Comintern for another, becoming a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On his return, he was deeply involved in developing the Communist Party and the unemployed workers’ movement, suffering three months in jail arising from these activities during the course of which he had sought to assert the right to hold meetings at the old Stockton Cross.
In the anti-fascist period, after Japan invaded Manchuria, he played a key role in stopping the Haruma Mara from being loaded at Middlesbrough dock with scrap metal bound for Japan. He also was central to the campaign to stop the Blackshirts from marching through Stockton-on-Tees and he had the job of organising recruitment for the International Brigade, too. In the post-war period, he was involved in peace activities, especially CND and, in later life, Short joined the re-established Communist Party of Britain. He also became President of Teesside Pensioners Association, initiating a major campaign to win free concessionary passes for the retired. He died in 1994, aged 94.
Sources: Morning Star 4th January 1990; 15th November 1994