George Cross was born in Islington around 1916 and in his youth was employed as a dispatch manager in the book trade. During World War Two, Cross served with the Cambridgeshire Regiment and was taken prisoner when the Japanese overran of Singapore, He then spent three and half years on forced labour, building the Burma “railway of death” with other communists, including Stan Henderson, Gerry Hall, Ralph Smith (who died of ill treatment) and Joe Hinks (the latter an International Brigadier who died of dysentery and ill treatment in Burma).
Amazingly, these men organised a Chungkai Camp Prisoner of War (POW) Branch of the Communist Party in Burma. The Party organised courses and even celebrated May Day under the noses of their brutal Japanese jailers in 1942 and 1943. As a result of this bravery in adversity, the Communist Party built up a strong following in the POW Camps.
George Cross was branch chairman and secretary of Tottenham Communist Party and stood as Communist Party parliamentary candidate in 1950 for the Tottenham seat, securing 802 votes.
Sources include the excellent booklet “Comrades on the Kwai” by Stan Henderson.
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