Obituaries: Percy Hallard and John Boucher
It is with regret that we have to report the death of two members.
Percy Hallard died in June after a long illness at the age of 70. He joined the Party in 1914 and was secretary of West Ham Branch for 35 years. It was said that Comrade Hallard and West Ham Branch were synonymous, and this was not far from the truth. He was his branch’s bulwark, and his hard work and capable organising bore splendid fruit. He helped the Dagenham Branch in the early 1930’s to get going, and contributed enormously in the East Ham electoral campaign which culminated in the Party contesting East Ham South in 1951.
He will not be forgotten by the many West Ham members he encouraged and stimulated into Party activity. Other members will remember him as a West Ham delegate at Party Conferences, where his contributions were constructive, good humoured and always to the point. Percy Hallard was an unassuming man, open and friendly to everyone. He will be sadly missed. Our sympathy and regards go to his wife, and our comrade, Mag Hallard.
John Boucher died suddenly on June 3rd. He collapsed after ‘phoning Head Office to say he was not feeling well and would not be at the Executive Meeting that night. He was 52 and joined the Party in 1933, and apart from seven years in South Africa, he had been a member of Wood Green Branch (under its various names) all that time. For his branch he tried his hand at everything. Before the war he spoke outdoors regularly at Jolly Butchers Hill. He did not find public speaking easy, but by carefully preparing notes before each meeting he spoke to attentive audiences. At times Wood Green Branch activities were centred on his home.
John Boucher was General Secretary of the Party for a short time at the beginning of the last war until he was imprisoned for refusing to obey Government direction. He served on the Executive Committee off and on for a number of years. He had been a most able member of the Finance Committee and also a Party Auditor. He was always willing to carry out routine office work, typing reports and efficiently doing the endless jobs that are essential to an organisation like ourselves.
He was without guile, direct in speech and behind the reserve very human. Our comrade Boucher will be remembered for many things: especially for his entire devotion to the Party and his constant concern in improving its efficiency and well being. The Party will be the poorer and sadder without him.