1960s >> 1965 >> no-730-june-1965

Obituary: Michael La Touche

Our Comrade Michael La Touche died suddenly on April 21st at the early age of 43 years.


For the last few years of his life he lived in Trinidad and Jamaica, where he was a Medical Officer.


He joined Bloomsbury Branch in 1944 and about one year later was speaking on the platform. He also wrote a number of articles for the Socialist Standard, mostly dealing with Public Health. He was particularly qualified to do this; he was a medical journalist as well as a doctor. Prior to his death he was studying the field of social medicine in the West Indies and it had been his intention to contribute a number of articles on the subject to the Socialist Standard.


I well remember the winter evening when Michael first appeared at Bloomsbury Branch. In a public school accent he announced his intention of joining the Party. He also added that he had recently been invalided out of the Royal Navy, in which he had been an officer. An ex-naval officer with a public school education did not seem at first sight to have the best background for a revolutionary Socialist, but La Touche proved to be a real asset.


Suffering from a chest complaint, he took up a post in Trinidad where the climate was kinder and his health temporarily improved. With the advent of independence he moved to Jamaica in December 1964, where he died at Kingston Hospital.


A number of comrades will always remember Michael La Touche for his highly developed sense of humour and his gay approach to life. He was a gentle person, dogged continually by indifferent health. He had great courage and he refused to be subdued by his many illnesses. His optimism about the future of the Party and of the Socialist movement was unbounded.


Jim D’Arcy