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SPGB Eccles Branch

Obituaries: Albert Baker and Paul Maxwell

Albert Baker

East London Branch regret to announce the death of comrade Albert Baker. Comrade Baker, who was well into his nineties, joined the old West Ham branch as far back as 1923. He worked for the Post Office before retiring many years ago.

The branch is the basic unit of our Party, essential to its democratic functioning, and an active branch is maintained by its members being prepared to take on a whole range of tasks. Comrade Baker was one such member of the West Ham branch, at one time one of the most active branches of the Party, acting at various times as literature secretary, dues collector, chairman of outdoor meetings, Conference delegate, as well as playing his part in the parliamentary campaign the branch ran when the Party contested the East Ham South seat in the 1950 General Election.

Another good comrade has passed away. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Death of Two Comrades


Our Australian comrades report the death in June of a valuable worker for Socialism, Comrade Cholet. In accordance with the wish expressed by him, the only ceremony at the funeral was an address delivered on behalf of the Socialist Party of Australia by the Secretary, Comrade Clarke. Comrade Cholet, through years of suffering from the sickness which finally carried him off, had shown the greatest courage and steadfastness in his work for Socialism. Comrades who worked with him knew his worth and feel his loss deeply.


His many friends here and in New Zealand will regret to learn of the death at Manchester, on July 19th, of Comrade Benjamin Woan, at the early age of 47. Death was due to cerebral tumour.

Provincial Propaganda Tour

A few years ago splendid work was done in the provinces by a small party of London members touring from place to place. Apart from gaining new readers and sympathisers, and making the Party in areas where no propaganda has been carried on before, there is the very valuable encouragement such visits bring to provincial groups and isolated members.

On Friday, June 30th, a party of four - Comrades Bellingham, Turner, L. Otway and Mrs. Otway - left head office for a short motor tour, carrying camping equipment.

The first meeting was held in the Bull Ring at Birmingham, on June 30th, with an audience of 350, and literature sales of 2s. 11d. - a good start achieved against the obstacle of several rival meetings. Questions and Communist opposition were dealt with at considerable length.

Obituary: Wally Preston

Wally Preston

We regret to have to announce the death of Wally Preston. Wally first came across the Party in the 1930s joining Manchester Branch after the war before drifting out at the end of 1950s and rejoining in 1979. He was a tool-maker by trade and a stalwart of the engineering union over decades. It was his union activity that led him to become involved in the early 1970s in the International Socialism group, the organisation which was eventually to become the SWP. For a period Wally was a member of its National Committee and was the editor of Advance, the IS paper for rank-and-file workers in the power industry.

It would be fair to say that Wally was something of a “workerist” and one of his typical contributions was captured by Ian Birchall in his history of IS:

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