Merseyside Socialist Workers Party members are deeply saddened at the recent death of Kate Rankin, a longstanding member of the party. Kate played a key role as branch secretary for the SWP in Liverpool, holding together and building that branch during the difficult years of the 1980s. Her commitment to revolutionary socialism always shone out.
It is with great sadness that I heard of the death of Charlie Van Gelderen. Charlie represented a historical link from his attendance at the founding conference of the Fourth International in Paris in 1938 up to general election campaigning for the Cambridge Socialist Alliance.
COMRADES IN Sheffield are mourning the loss of Allan Swan. He was a respected teacher, thinker and fighter for socialist ideas who died aged 53 on 13 September.
Trade unionists and socialists in Sheffield will be sad to learn of the death of Rob Dawber. Rob was an active socialist and trade unionist since the mid-1970s. Rob was local RMT branch secretary at the time of rail privatisation. He and thousands of track workers were made redundant. Rob turned his hand to film writing and wrote a prophetic script about the effects of privatisation on rail safety.
Socialist Worker and all its readers owe a tremendous debt to Ross Pritchard, who died of cancer last week at the age of 62. Ross joined the socialist movement in Glasgow at almost exactly the same time as I did. Ross had just come out of the armed forces (he was one of the last to be caught in the conscription net, as I was), and was trying to find a decent job in Glasgow. He came to the socialist movement as though he had been waiting for it all his life.
SOUTHAMPTON SOCIALISTS are saddened by the death of Ginger Pearce, for some years a member of the SWP. Ginger became a leading militant in the 1950s, working as an electrical contractor and later EETPU senior steward at Vosper Thorneycroft.
THE NEW film Onegin is set in the world of the Russian aristocracy in the 19th century. It is based on a novel by Alexander Pushkin-himself a member of the Russian aristocracy-written in the 1830s. Russia was then a backward, rural society where individuals' lives were controlled by patronage and "fate". But it was also a world in transition.
FRANK YARDLEY, a longstanding socialist and trade union activist, died aged 80 on 4 November after a long illness. He was a member of the MSF union and a delegate to Middlesbrough Trades Council. Frank remained a committed Christian, but became a Marxist, joining the Independent Labour Party in the 1930s. He joined the International Socialists, the forerunner of the Socialist Workers party, in 1972. He remained a member of the party until it became impossible for him to do any further activity.