Stratton Lil

Lil Stratton

Lil Stratton was a Hungarian by birth and became a refugee from pre-war fascism to Britain in her late 20s. Two of her brothers who stayed in Hungary were killed, despite the intense repression, during the course of their support for the Hungarian Resistance movement and against their own government, which was part of the Axis alliance of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan during the war.  

It is perhaps not always appreciated at this distance in time, and especially following the emotiveness of the events associated with Hungary in 1956, just how intense was the fascist movement in Hungary. Its development arose from 1919 and characteristics very like Mussolini fascism were developed soon after 1923. By 1932, the leader of the Hungarian brand of fascism, who was a Hungarian army officer, was appointed Prime Minister, although a Nazified state was now the ambition.

In 1942, Lil married Harry Stratton (see separate entry), with whom she would have a son, Leslie, a leading member of the Swansea Communist Party, the management committee of the Daily Worker, and a former member of the International Brigade. Lil took British citizenship and joined the Communist Party in the same year.


She was a highly active worker for the Party, despite ill-health. An activist in the local Co-operative movement and the Peace Council in Swansea, she was also an executive member of the British-Hungarian Friendship Society.

Her special contribution was her work to build up the Daily Worker, whose circulation and bazaars she did much to help in West Wales.

Given her prominent in west Wales, her tragic death on Friday 14th September 1961 at the age of 51 came as a great shock to hundreds throughout Wales.

The Welsh committee of the Communist Party announced her sudden death with "deep regret". On behalf of the Daily Worker, the Editor expressed deep sympathy to Harry Stratton in his bereavement.

The West Wales Area Communist Party stated "Her all-round work, especially for our Daily Worker and its bazaars will be an inspiration to all".

Source: Daily Worker 18th September 1961

Michael Walker


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply