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A leading engineering worker in Lancashire, he was the youngest ever district president of the AEU in Rawtenstall and became a full time worker for the Communist Party in around 1941-2. He was the Lancashire and Cheshire industrial organiser and was later elected as the District Secretary.
During the Second World War, he led the Communist campaign in the district for the opening of the second front and helped to build Communist influence and membership in the engineering factories of, particularly, the Manchester area. In the post war period, Syd Abbott was particularly involved in the peace moment.
He suffered a severe stroke in September 1960, whilst attending a meeting of the district committee and was forced to give up full time work, living quietly but supportively of the work of the Party and the Morning Star until he died in 1988.