Born in Aberdeen on June 5th 1916, as his father was fighting in France, Sutherland was an avid reader from his boyhood and hoped to become a journalist. But mass unemployment prevented his ambition. He worked at his uncle’s pharmacy but still sent pieces to newspapers, getting an occasional one published. In 1936, he joined the Left Book Club, the Communist Party and left home. In the Second World War, he was drafted into the Royal Corps of Signals. Though a prominent Communist, he worked on the now infamous Enigma code-breaking operation.
After the invasion of Europe from the west, he was the first British Communist to enter Brussels and was wildly feted as he introduced himself as such when he entered the offices of the Drapeau Rouge (Red Flag), the paper of the Belgian Communist Party.
After the war, he settled in London and married a young widow with two sons, Doreen Hoyland. He began work, accomplishing his boyhood ambition, as a journalist with the Daily Worker/Morning Star, also becoming its theatre critic. He died aged 79 on January 29th 1996.
Source: Guardian 8th March 1996
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