1980s >> 1980 >> no-908-april-1980

Obituary: Bob Ambridge

With sadness we have to record the death of Bob Ambridge as the result of a road accident in February at the age of 81. He was one of our staunchest comrades, active in socialist propaganda right to the end. For 53 years he was an exemplary Party member, a tower of strength as speaker, writer, tutor, EC member, Branch secretary, organiser—and anything else that was needed. Bob Ambridge was self-educated, widely read, informed in many fields, frequently staggering friends and opponents by his erudition and depth of knowledge. He was a devastating debunker of all that was pretentious, steady as a rock in Party affairs, he never wavered in his hold of socialist principles.

(Bob Ambridge speaking in Hyde Park. Undated).

A Conference without Bob Ambridge was unthinkable: where with ruthless logic he disposed of anything he saw as crackpot nostrums or gimmicks. He was incapable of ‘tactics’ or dissimulation. He said precisely what he thought, always objective, oblivious of personalities and without rancour. He was a model chairman, impartial, a genuine democrat who would listen quietly to acrimonious assaults and then give his firm ruling. He was a tall, upright, handsome man, and behind the outward gruffness lay a shy, warm-hearted person with a keen sense of humour. When he ‘retired’ to South Wales 15 years ago, instead of taking a rest, he began a new lease of life with our Swansea comrades. And we, in London, looked forward to Bob Ambridge’s twice yearly conference attendances as a provincial branch delegate. In this new role we were privileged to his wise counsel as recently as October last year.

Bob Ambridge left his mark on the Party. We are all the better for knowing him. To Frances Ambridge we send our sympathy and shared sorrow.

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