Obituary: Robert Macloughlin

On 7th May, 1959, our old comrade Robert Macloughlin died peacefully in his sleep.

Mac’s life was an example of remarkable courage. He first joined the party in 1915; about the same time he was involved in an accident which eventually caused him to lose his sight and his hearing. Despite these handicaps, Mac kept his sense of humour and remained mentally and physically vigorous. He swam and took long country walks, lectured to blind clubs and served on the party’s Executive Committee. He was a consistent attender at propaganda meetings and conferences, and at one time was very active in the Trade Union movement.

In recent years he developed cancer and, although he fought against it in typical style, the illness took hold on him. He underwent a long time in hospital but still kept his interest in Socialism, donating his collection of books to our Head Office library and attending the 1958 Conference. He lived out his last days happy in the company of party members. No obituary of Mac should forget the comrades who cared for him, reading to him and taking him to meetings and for walks. “To all and everybody, thanks a million.” That was how Mac ended his will.

A few weeks before his death, Mac told his friends that he was ready to die, satisfied that he had done his best. He chose as his epitaph:

I have done what I have done, because I could not have done much less, but might have done much more.