Obituary: Norman Stovold
We were saddened to learn of the death of Norman Stovold. He joined The Socialist Party in 1939 — a time when membership was thick with people who were, to put it mildly, colourful characters. Norman’s comparatively quiet and self-effacing manner in itself made him conspicuous; it fronted a staunch socialist who applied his considerable administrative abilities to important party work.
During the war. in line with his socialist principles, he refused to be conscripted into the armed forces. As a conscientious objector, his case against war was at first judged by those false assessors of sincerity in the tribunal as inadequate. Norman eventually went to prison, after which he was exempted from joining in the killing machine on condition that he did agricultural work. From the authorities’ point of view this was not an entirely satisfactory idea for Norman went to work with a group of socialists under the same tribunal condition, among them Laurie Franks, and they spent a lot of time informing other workers of the case for socialism, including that against fighting in capitalism’s wars.
In later years Norman was elected to the Executive Committee; other posts to which he was elected were Auditor and Assistant General Secretary. In all this work his clear thinking and low-key dedication were invaluable.
He made an enormous contribution to The Socialist Party and to the socialist case. His comrades salute him.