Obituary: Jim Garnham

It is with much regret that we record the death of Comrade Jim Garnham.

Jim first came into contact with ‘socialist’ ideas in the army (he was a conscript and knew nothing of socialism and the socialist opposition to war). In a NAFFI canteen he picked up Tressell’s “Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”. Around 1947/8 he listened to Party-speakers in Hyde Park and joined the Socialist Party of Great Britain some thirty years ago. During all that time he was an ever present activist in the cause of socialism. At indoor and outdoor meetings his support could always be relied upon. At places like Earls Court and Hyde Park he defended the platform on many occasions, not only in argument but against those whose purpose was physical disruption (he had been quite a good boxer in the army!) He was an energetic and enthusiastic literature seller and contributed to the success of countless meetings in this way.

Over the last five years he worked at our head office on a part-time basis, undertaking a wide variety of administrative jobs. He was always willing to help with whatever new demands came along. Three years ago when the Publicity Committee was re-organised, he worked with the committee to ensure prompt replies to enquiries. Comrade Garnham was also a member of the Executive Committee for several years.

Until the time of his retirement, Jim was an active member of the Electrical Trades Union (as it then was). He was a Union delegate to various Congresses and Conferences.

Though rather a quiet person, he was sustained by a thorough knowledge of Socialist theory, which he never tired of discussing with anybody who was interested. His patient down-to-earth approach to the class struggle was clear and effective.

Those of us who knew him feel the loss of a man who was the essence of a Socialist. Our warmest sympathies go to those of his family who survive him.


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