Obituary: Death of A. E. Jacomb
We regret to inform readers of the death of A. E. Jacomb, who had suffered from heart trouble for many years. He was an active member of the Social Democratic Federation at the end of the last century and the beginning of this, and was a member of the group which came out of that organisation to form the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904, helping to shape the Party’s fundamental principles and policy. He was a compositor by trade and in the early years of the Party, in fact up to the beginning of the ’twenties, he was responsible for the printing of the Socialist Standard and pamphlets. In this work he was a tower of strength, for the job was certainly not a sinecure. Often enough there were not sufficient articles to fill the paper and Jacomb had to make up the rest, under various pseudonyms, as he was doing the composing.
For many years, up to the end of the first Great War, Jacomb was a member of the Executive Committee and the Editorial Committee. He was a fine writer with a keen and caustic humour, contributing many excellent articles to the Socialist Standard. He also drafted two of the Party pamphlets : “Socialism” and “The Socialist Party: Its Principles and Policy.” He gave the best he could do to the Party although his life was one long struggle against financial difficulties.
It was a pitiful business that, towards the end of his life, Jacomb found himself in opposition to the Party about his attitude to the Spanish upheaval and to the last Great War, which led him to make a number of extravagant statements in the heat of controversy. But although he believed the policy of the Party was wrong, he still held fast to his fundamental socialist convictions. The vehemence of his criticism was due to his belief that the Party was on a wrong and fatal track, and to his anxiety to put it back again on what he thought was the right track.
Jacomb was a very fine character; simple and sincere, and a genuine and earnest champion of socialist principles for the whole of his long life. The good that he has done will live long after him.