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Jim Coton served in the 6th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, stationed in Deolali in 1944, which then fought in Burma. He returned to Birmingham in 1946 and went to live in Deritend, becoming married to Beryl, who would be a long-term singer in the Birmingham Clarion Choir. He worked for what became the Metro-Cammell Carriage Works, in Saltley, and then for Rover, as a machine operator.
He joined the Communist Party at the age of 34 in 1959, after being a shop steward for some eighteen months. A delegation of British Motor Corporation shop stewards to the German Democratic Republic had livened his sense of what could be done if workers had state power and led to his joining the Party.
Jim Coton would go on to play a significant role in the Birmingham East District Committee of the AEU during all the major struggles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially the Battle of Saltley Gate.
Source: World News
He has been married to Beryl for 44 years and they have two children and two grandchildren.He has been married to Beryl for 44 years and they have two children and two grandchildren.