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Obituary: Bob Simpson

Bob Simpson

Members will be saddened to hear of the death of comrade Bob Simpson, who has died after a short illness aged 81. Bob first joined the Party in 1942 and was—like his twin brother Tom who passed away in 1994—a conscientious objector during the Second World War. He originally became a member of the Party`s Lewisham branch but later transferred to South-West London branch when it began meeting in Clapham, just a few miles from his home in Bermondsey.

Bob lived all his life in London and epitomised what is sometimes referred to as the cheerful “Cockney disposition” of Londoners, being born (just) within the sound of Bow Bells. It seems quite remarkable that during his long life Bob only left the confines of the capital on literally a handful of occasions—and all the more so because his range of interests and pursuits was so extensive: from the benefits of Chinese herbal medicine, to old-time dancing and through to the study of UFOs.

The principal forum for Bob's activities though was the Party, where he held a number of positions at branch and national level over the years and where he threw himself enthusiastically—and with typical good humour—into everything he did. For example, Bob was one of the stalwarts helping with the distribution of the Socialist Standard for a considerable time and for a period also served on the Party's reformed Economic Crises Committee where he was an assiduous collector of statistics, newspaper cuttings and anything else he thought could further the collective knowledge of Party members and therefore the strength of the Party's case.

With Bob's passing the Party has lost another one of its "characters" and it is sad to think that he is no longer with us. His cheeky wink and infectious laugh will be sorely missed at the Party's gatherings, as will his unstinting hard work for the cause to which he dedicated the best part of his life.