Alec Clark (
Alec Clark was born on 22nd July 1922 in Virginia Street,
Leaving school at 14, the young Alec was first employed as message boy. He joined the Young Communist League at 14 years of age and has remained a life-long Communist. Later, he worked at a saw mill on North Esplanade West, where he tried to organise union, albeit with no success.
Alec’s father, Alec Senior, was politically active in hunger marches and in the unemployed workers movement. A regular attendee himself at all the local unemployed protest marches in Aberdeen, Alec Junior once cycled up the farms on the way to Stonehaven to collect money and food from the farm workers.
He became aware of the fascist Blackshirts at the age of 12 and cycled around Aberdeen to spot when and where they were having public meetings, which he would report back to the anti-fascists gathering at the Castlegate area of Aberdeen so that they could turn up to disrupt the fascist rallies.
Alec recalls fund and food raising for Spain, with collection points being placed in many local shops, especially the Co-ops. He attended many rallies in Castlegate with his father, especially being very inspired by the speeches of Bob Cooney [see separate entry] against fascism, unemployment & poverty. He remembers the men who went to fight fascism in
At this time Alec had moved jobs to Crombie’s at Grandholm Mill and, along with late Bill Morrice, organised mill workers into the Dyers & Bleachers
At the start of the Second World War, Alec Junior and Alec Senior argued about the son’s decision to join up to fight fascism, since the father kept to the Party’s initial line about it being an imperialist war. Alec Junior was only 17 when he tried to enlist but the army was alert to the problems of malnutrition from the Hungry Thirties in its potential recruits. Because Alec was so small and young-looking for his age, the recruiting sergeant told him to “go sit on a flower pot and grow a bit more”.
So, he joined the Local Defence Volunteers, which he was in for the next two year before applying to join the RAF as an air-gunner and failing the eyesight test. In 1941, he joined the Gordon Highlanders and was posted to
He fought in the battle of
Four years after the war, Alec took his eldest daughter, Kathleen, then a teenager to the concentration camp at
After the war, Alec joined the council to work as a labourer at the waste disposal site at North Esplanade west. In time, he became a weighbridge clerk and eventually head storeman. In all, he worked for the corporation for 38 years and retired in his early 1960s due to ill health.
He signed off the sick shortly after retiring from the council and started with Vetco Gray as a post messenger for about two years. He became a member of the National
Source: edited version of local