Brake Ted

Born Edward Ernest Brake on May 15th 913, near Malvern, he left school at 14 to become an apprentice at a local garage. He joined the National Union of Coppersmiths, Braziers and Sheet Metal Workers and on becoming a skilled worker was employed at the Morgan sports car company.

He joined the Communist Party in the 1930s and formed the Worcester branch of the Left Book Club. He moved to London with the war and married Nan Green (see entry) and together they became the backbone of the International Brigade Association. In 1952 they went to China, where Ted worked for the Chinese trade union movement. He succeeded Alan Winnington as China correspondent for the Daily Worker.

Back in London, he and Nan agreed amicably to dissolve the marriage and Ted became a sub-editor for the paper and editor of his union’s journal. For the last 20 years before retirement, he worked in Fleet Street as London correspondent for AND, the East German news agency. He published his definitive and scholarly history of the sheet metal workers, “Men of Good Character” in 1985. He had retired to Winchcombe in Gloucestershire to write a book on traditional British crafts when he died, aged 80, on October 30th 1993. 

Source: Guardian 10th December 1993

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