David Edward John Hook was born in Lewisham in 1918. From 1928 to 1932 he was in the training ship Exmouth at Tilbury. He then joined the army as a boy, learned the clarinet, and became an army bandsman on the North West Frontier of India. He left the army in 1938 but rejoined, in the Medical Corps, in 1940. He was sent to France and came home via Dunkirk. He then served in the 8th Army in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
Demobbed in 1946, Dave trained as a plumber, started work in the building industry, and joined the Sutton branch of the Communist Party. He was an active communist for the rest of his life.
Between 1954 and 1966 Dave Hook lived and worked in Crawley new town in Sussex . He was a leading member of the very successful Party branch, and active in the building workers’ and tenants’ struggles. On his own initiative Dave started a Daily Worker pitch in the town square and sold the paper there every Saturday for several years. He was a great entertainer with a fund of songs and stories.
He later lived in Gillingham and Blackheath. In 1983 he busked with his clarinet to support the striking miners; Dave died in the year 2000.