An activist in the pre-war British Youth Peace Council, Eric Digby Hunt was, from 1938-40, the Secretary of the Youth Relief and Refugee Council. Inevitably, given that much of its activities aided refugees from Germany, Austria, Poland, and Spain, the Council was heavily influenced by Communists, such as Eric Hunt.
In 1939, with the drying up of what had been a steady trickle of refugees from fascism due to war, Eric Hunt became the residential warden for the Refugee Council’s haven for displaced young persons.
Military service saw him join the 31st Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, for which he would become a sergeant.
Hunt took a part-time MA at the LSE in 1950, with a thesis on “The Trade of Yarmouthand Lynn1377-1485.
A clerical worker in the immediate post-war period, by the early 1950s, he was an elected branch delegate to the Clerical & Administrative Workers Annual Conference (later APEX), no mean feat at a time of intense anti-communism in that union, which did not let up until its merger in recent times with the GMB.
During the late 1950s, Eric Hunt became a tutor for NALGO, the white collar town hall staffs union that eventually became one of three unions to form Unison.
Source: Personal documents E D Hunt
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