Born around 1903, Duncan joined the Communist Party in 1922 in Scotland and become a full-time worker for the Young Communist League. He was sent by the Party to the International Lenin School in Moscow in 1929-30 but was seemingly “expelled for embezzlement”.
If this is so, surprisingly, he was (according to Dorothy Adams) sent direct to Leicester straight from the Soviet Union and, in her words, was “full of it”. Duncan’s expulsion must have been from Soviet Union and after he had left the ILS, for he brought a daughter with him, who had no “English worth speaking of”.
He was a Communist activist in Leicester during the 1930s and 1940s. His attempts to get back into industry were thwarted by the discovery that he was a Communist. He was even barred from being a delegate to the Trades Council from the local AEU branch No 1, because of his membership of the Party.
Sometime during the 1940s, he went to London and obtained in job in management, leaving the Party.
Sources: Leicester Mercury 20th July 1938, Labour History Review April 2003, Forging the Faithful, D.M. Adams interview (Leicester Oral History Archive 1983) http://www.nednewitt.webspace.virginmedia.com/whoswho/