Obituary: Dick Jacobs

It is with deep regret that we report the death on 11th October of Comrade Dick Jacobs. For four and a half years he had suffered a debilitating illness, which he bore bravely with the help of his wife and family. During his moments of lucidity he would sing old Party songs, and he still remembered many members by name.

He first came in contact with the Party during the Great Depression, in East London. He moved to South Wales at the outbreak of the 1939-45 war, and put in years of work to get a branch established at Swansea. In the 1960s he returned to south-east England and became secretary of the Southend branch. Eventually he and his family moved to Poole, where he died.

The writer first met Dick Jacobs during the war years at the Mannesmann Tube Works in Swansea. His comments were in line with my own thoughts; one realized that his outlook and knowledge were something different from those of workers moulded in the orthodox political ideologies. In a bombing raid we sat together in a shelter, and in a lengthy discussion I was given some understanding of the socialist case. The next stage was a series of discussions at Dick’s home, and I realized that there was an established political party which stood for the principles I had held for many years. These informal discussions led to my joining the Party. Later we contacted others, and the first SPGB branch in Wales was formed.

As a person Dick was kind and compassionate, a gentle-man in the best sense of the term. Like all socialists he had a number of political enemies, but he did not have a personal one: it was impossible to dislike him. He will be missed by all the Swansea and London comrades who knew him in earlier years. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.

Phil Mellor