Mildwater Jeff

Jeff Mildwater

G "Jeff" Mildwater was born in 1915; a bricklayer by trade, he joined the Communist party in 1931. Mildwater was involved with the Stepney Workers Circle and fought in the International Brigade in Spain, leaving England on 31st April 1937 and arriving in Paris in time for May Day: "It was a wonderful sight…. 25 deep and taking over 3 hours to pass…..and you should hear them sing a strange contrast from London."

He rose to the rank of Lieutenant: "The uniform of the International Brigade is the "open sesame" anywhere and the clenched fist and "Salud camarade is the greeting we get where ever we go". He also wrote of the pride he had in the International Brigade: "It gives one a well developed chest to march in parades with the French, German, Austrian, Polish, English – sections all singing the revolutionary songs in their own language. As far as the civil population here is concerned – there is nothing they will not do for the Brigade."

Mildwater was wounded at the Aragon offensive in October 1937. He was Second-in-Command during the battle of the Anti Tank Battery, but his main complaint in Spain was his inability to get secure copies of the Daily Worker.

In September 1940 Jeff Mildwater was one of three , the other being C. Currie and F. Burton (Bricklayers union), building union Federation shop stewards arrested during a dispute with management on a large, government building project in Middlesex for alleged "insulting words and behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace. They appeared at Uxbridge Court on 6th September 1940.  The employers had dismissed a further twenty stewards, no reason was given except that the employers were not recognising the trade unions, or allowing trade union organisation on the site. It must have been a building project close to Uxbridge, maybe linked to one of the airports. [Source: Daily Worker 6 September 1940]

He stood as the Communist Party Parliamentary Candidate in the 1950 General Election for Bethnal Green, one of nine International Brigadiers to fight for the Communist party in the 1950 election. (The full list was: Peter Kerrigan, Bob Cooney, Don Renton, Bill Alexander, John Mahon, Jeff Mildwater, Jack Coward, Wogan Phillips and Bert Ramelson.)

Michael Walker

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