Born Edwin Hornsby Dare on 8th August 1919, he was the eldest of seven siblings. Suffering from polio as a child, Eddie also experienced the tragedy of a brother’s suicide.
Following a Devonshire family tradition, Eddie trained as a baker in London, cycling the city streets delivering bread, as well as medicines for a local doctor, to earn a bit on the side. His father had served in the navy in the First World War and Eddie himself went to sea on the Union Castle Line. When his ship docked in South Africa, the conditions he saw of privation and brutality meted on the non-white population, coupled with his own youthful poverty, turned him towards politics. He joined, in rapid succession, first the Labour Party and then the Communist Party.
After the Second World War, he rose rapidly to senior positions in the civil service, working both in the ministries of health and social security. He was an accomplished researcher and was recruited to work as a speech writer for Barbara Castle, the left-inclined Labour minister, with whom he had a great rapport.
Dare was Chair of the Marx Memorial Library from 1975-1978 and a volunteer worker at the Labour Research Department for a number of years. A long-standing supporter of the Communist Party’s History Group, he supported the EC of the CPGB in the internal conflicts of the 1980s and was in later years a mainstay of the renamed Socialist History Society that came out of Democratic Left. He died on 29th September 2010.
Sources: Marx House bulletin, Tony Atienza, Socialist History News, October 4th 2010