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Westwood, Jim Councillor

At the age of 23, he was already a President of his branch of the Amalgamated Engineering Union and a member of its District Committee. Westwood was elected a Labour councillor on Rowley Regis Urban […]

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O’Connell, Harry

Harry E O’Connell  The Guyanese ship’s carpenter who organised the black seafarers of Cardiff and Liverpool in the 1930s, reputedly up to 10,000 of them, migrated to Britain in 1910. He founded the Cardiff Coloured […]

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Thompson, Fred

Fred Thompson was born just that – Fred – and was known even to the media of his day as that. The only time he was erroneously called Frederick was when the constabulary charged him. […]

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Michael Carritt

Michael John Carritt was born on 3rd January 1906, the eldest son of four brothers and two girls, the brother of Gabriel Carritt (see separate entry). Coming from an academic background, he was educated locally in […]

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Encyclopedia of Communist Biographies

Alley, Surat

Surat Alley was the British representative of the All-India Seamen’s Federation (AISF), who led a wave of strikes in 1939 and 1940 in British ports of Indian seafarers, when, despite repeated jailings, mass desertions by […]

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Steer, Bernie

Bernie Steer A measure of how sensitive were docks strikes is shown by the revelations that came when cabinet papers covering 1970 were released under the 30-year rule at the start of 2001. It seems […]

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Phillip Spratt

Philip Spratt Spratt, born in 1902, was a writer who had joined the Communist Party and was sent to India by it to aid the development of a local Communist Party and trade union movement. […]

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Bertha Sokoloff

As she was growing up in a closely knit Jewish family in the East End of London, poverty and fatherlessness shaped the radical spirit of my mother Bertha Sokoloff, who has died aged 98. Her […]

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Jean & Maurice Styles

Jean Esther Styles was born on October 19th 1927; she joined the Communist Party in 1947. As branch secretary for the Streatham Communist Party in the mid-1960s, she formally engaged in correspondence with the national YCL […]

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Bill Thornycroft

Born Francis Thornycroft in 1926 near Worthing, he was the last of the five children of Oliver and Dorothy Thornycroft. His father was from the Thornycroft engineering family and was a senior engineer at the […]