Burt Les

Les Burt pictured after his appointment as PPPS treasurer of the society in 1984:

Les Burt

Born on 26th April 1921. As a Barnados boy, having had had little formal education, he was passionate about self-improvement, reading avidly. An electrician by trade, he went to Yugoslavia on a youth brigade after the Second World War, working to develop modern roads. In the 1950s, he worked at Kodak in Harrow, selling the Daily Worker at the factory gate. He joked that this was the only way to keep his job because, ”if I was sacked, it would be seen as victimisation.”


After a period as full-time north-west London area organiser for the Communist Party, he also worked at Willesden bus garage and at Thrupp & Maderley coachworks. He was a candidate for the party in elections in Brent, coining his own slogan “Put your shirt on Burt’! At one point, he polled over 3,000 votes. Burt was a member of both the Communist Party executive and its London DC for many years. From 1984 to 1997, he was Treasurer and a member of the management committee of the PPPS, the co-operative society that publishes the Morning Star. Involved in the Watford pensioners’ movement in retirement, Burt also served in a major campaign to prevent the closure of the four West Hertfordshire hospitals. He died aged 80 on 4th August 2001, a lifelong communist.

Morning Star 10th August 2001

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