1990s >> 1997 >> no-1117-september-1997

Obituary: Jack Apling

Obituary: Jack Apling

Jack Apling was an active member of West Ham Branch from the time he joined, in December 1939, until in the fifties when, because of concerns that living in the East End might be detrimental to the health of his children, the family moved to Harlow in Essex. He remained a member of the branch (later named East London), though his attendance was necessarily restricted, and is remembered as a quiet man, who was able to express ideas in a clear and concise manner. A bookbinder by trade, his “Open Letter to Trade Unionists” appeared in the December 1967 Socialist Standard, he signed it as a member of the Society of Graphical and Allied Workers (SOGAT).

Convinced that someone had to give the socialist analysis of current events, Jack made the most of any opportunity to do just that. Over the years he wrote countless letters to local newspapers, and his son has been told by local people that they took the papers in order to read his father’s letters.

Comrades in Colchester Branch, to which he transferred when in his eighties, have gained inspiration from his determination to keep Socialism on the agenda, a commitment which was not diminished by old age or terrible illness. As recently as March, when his weight was only a little over five stones, and he could hardly push a pen across a page, he was still writing to local papers. He died on 7 July after a courageous fight against cancer. We extend sincere sympathy to his family.

Pat Deutz

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