Socialist Worker

David James Davis 1923-2009

by Alun Morinan
Issue No. 2148

Dave Davis, a lifelong campaigner for peace and socialism, has died at the age of 85 following a long illness.

Dave was born in Gloucestershire. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Navy on motor torpedo boats. He was an electrician working around the cities of Bristol and Gloucester.

He moved to south east London some 30 years ago where he worked as a caretaker for a housing association.

Dave was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) for almost 50 years until its dissolution in 1991. He stood as a party candidate and acted as an agent, as well as being actively involved in many local, regional and national campaigns.

With the demise of the CPGB, Dave had brief flirtations with the Democratic Left and the Labour Party before finding his home in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

I first met Dave in 1987 when we were waiting for the start of the “White Poppy Peace March” in Bromley on Remembrance Sunday.

We were early and the only people there, so we got talking and our conversations and political activities continued from that day.

In addition to his work in the SWP, he was active in ex-services CND and our local peace group. For some years he chaired the Bromley branch of the British Pensioners’ Trade Union Action Association.

A coronary bypass surgery a few years ago did not stop him marching, selling papers and participating in campaigns.

Despite being very ill with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he accepted the nomination as the Left List candidate for the Bexley & Bromley constituency in the 2008 London elections.

Dave enjoyed reading and, apart from politics, his favourite subjects were astronomy and Egyptology.

He also liked painting and occasionally displayed his work at local exhibitions. His talent for poetry earned him the post of “versifier” (poet-in-residence) for Bromley Friends of the Earth.

Dave did a lot for my political education, including signing me up first for 7 Days (CPGB) then the Socialist Worker.

His zeal meant that our local WH Smiths had Socialist Worker on sale, supplied by Dave, who used to check each week that the papers had been put on the stands.

He will be sadly missed by many people in London and the West Country. With his passing many progressive causes have lost a valuable comrade.

Dave is survived by one of his sisters and his niece.

His funeral will take place on Thursday 30 April at 3pm at Beckenham Crematorium, Elmers End Road, BR3. Donations in his memory should be made to groups campaigning for peace and socialism.

Article information

Tue 21 Apr 2009, 18:29 BST
Issue No. 2148
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