Obituary

1 August 2021Comment

Climate campaigner who left a legacy of over half a million trees

For climate campaigners, Penny was best known for supergluing – she glued herself to the revolving doors of lastminute.com’s HQ as part of a Plane Stupid action, she glued herself to a shelf in Boots because of their accounting practices, and she famously glued herself to the gates of the Heathrow Climate Camp to stop the police entering the site, earning enormous gratitude and respect.

But this was really the tiny cherry on the enormous cake of her life’s work to mitigate climate…

1 August 2021Comment

Dedicated activist and co-founder of the Coventry Peace House.

Although she balked at any form of public recognition, Penny Walker had influence, power and the kind of respect that preceded her into meetings. The public grief and sadness there has been at her death is unsurprising, though Penny would’ve been embarrassed by all the fuss.

I met Penny at Coventry Peace House in 2004, a housing co-operative she set up with Becqke and John, fellow Alvis Peace Campers from the ’90s.

A founder member of the Coventry Refugee Centre, she and Alan…

11 December 2020Comment

Peace campaigner and youngest known participant in Normandy landings who got arrested with Bertrand Russell

COVID-19 has robbed the world of a rare person. Still very much in his prime at a youthful 92 years old, Jim Radford passed away in Lewisham hospital before old age could catch up with him.

As a 15-year-old galley boy on the rescue tug, Empire Larch, Jim was the youngest known participant in the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

His song, ‘The Shores of Normandy’, recounting his experiences of that day, was brought to the attention of a wider public during two televised…

11 December 2020Comment

Politician who played leadership role in Northern Ireland's civil rights movement and went on to help create, sustain and promote the Irish peace process

John Hume was one of four people associated with the recent conflict in Ireland to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Definitely he was the most deserving.

He secured the Peace Prize for his efforts in bringing the armed conflict to an end and the subsequent signing of the Good Friday Agreement, endorsed in an all-Ireland referendum.

Ten years ago, he was voted ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ in a poll conducted by RTÉ, the Irish public broadcaster.

And in death he has been…

11 December 2020Comment

Pacifist, engineer and BWNIC defendant

Albert Beale writes:

I got to know my friend and comrade Chris Roper 45 years ago when we were amongst a group of 14 pacifists and anti-militarists who spent nearly 3 months in the Old Bailey facing notorious conspiracy charges relating to the distribution of leaflets to servicepeople encouraging - and helping - them to 'down tools' [sometimes referred to as the BWNIC (British Withdrawal from Northern Ireland Campaign) trial, see …

28 September 2020Comment

WW2 conscientious objector who played important role in the campaign to remove US cruise missles from Greenham Common

Leslie Selwyn Pope was an extraordinary ordinary man whose work was instrumental in the campaign to remove US cruise missiles from Greenham Common, stop the further military development of the base, and return the common to the people of Newbury.

Leslie and his wife Wendy both registered as conscientious objectors during the Second World War and continued working, him as a civil servant and she as a teacher. They married in 1945.

After the war, they went on the Aldermaston…

1 December 2019Comment

Cartoonist and life-long anarchist who exposed a corrupt London police officer

Life-long anarchist cartoonist Donald Rooum will perhaps be remembered best for his Wildcat cartoons about anarchism and the anarchist movement – and for the quick-witted actions that led to the exposure of the corrupt London police officer, Harold Challenor, in 1963 (see our last issue for details).

Born and raised in a working-class family in Bradford, Donald came across anarchism during a day trip to London, at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, in the summer of 1944.

He bought…

1 December 2019Comment

Feminist and peace activist who wrote books on

Photo: Lotte Reimer

Cynthia was born in rural Leicestershire. At the age of 19, she moved to London where she worked as a typist for the home office and became personal assistant to Anthony Eden (foreign secretary and later prime minister).

Cynthia’s interest in politics began when, aged 21 and working in the foreign office in Bangkok, Thailand, she learned about the Chinese revolution and decided to visit the country.

Informed by the UK chargé d’affaires that…

1 October 2019Comment

A powerhouse of a woman whose activism spanned many decades

Ellen Moxley was a powerhouse of a woman whose profound belief in the sacredness of all life and all creatures was the driving force of her life. She was the beloved mother of Marian Beeby and deeply loved civil partner of Helen Steven, who died in 2016. She received both the Right Livelihood Award in 2001 and the Gandhi International Peace Prize (with Helen) in 2004.

Ellen's mother Marian left New York to go to China with her Mandarin teacher, Sun, to teach English. She married Sun…

1 August 2019Comment

Organiser of first Aldermaston March who always spoke spoke truth to power

Walter Wolfgang speaks at a CND demo outside Aldermaston, 2008. Photo: CND

Walter Wolfgang died a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, still campaigning for peace and justice. An organiser of the first Aldermaston march, Walter was vice president of both the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Stop the War Coalition at the time of his death.

Born in Frankfurt am Main, Walter had tasted anti-semitism first-hand by the time his parents sent him to Britain in 1937…

1 August 2019Comment

Lifelong radical whose weekly CND stall became a Penzance fixture

Peter Le Mare playing parachute games at Peace News Summer Camp 2009. Photo: Emily Johns

When the tributes started to pour in for Peter Le Mare, who has died suddenly of an aggressive form of leukaemia, one in particular seemed to sum up the mood. It read: 'Penzance will miss him.' A resident of the area since the late 1980s, Peter was a well-known character in the town, with his colourful CND stall ensconced at the end of the main street every Saturday for the last 30 years.

1 April 2019Comment

'Thinking man's Dennis Skinner' was indefatigable peace campaigner

Campaigning Labour MP Paul Flynn died in February after a long illness. A sufferer from rheumatoid arthritis, Flynn campaigned for the medical use of cannabis. In July 2017, he called on users to come to London and ‘break the law’ by using cannabis at the houses of parliament.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) paid this tribute:

The MP for Newport West since 1987, after 15 years as a councillor, Paul Flynn was a strong advocate and supporter of the NFLA…

1 April 2019Comment

Jane Buxton, a founder member of the Committee of 100, was deeply affected by the decision to manufacture atomic and nuclear weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. She shared the alarm of many at the race between the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain to acquire the most threatening weapons. At that time, all three countries were testing their weapons in the atmosphere and the level of strontium-90 in the air caused much concern. She joined the growing body of people determined to stop…

1 February 2019News

Whistleblower and passionate campaigner for peace dies aged 56

 

Genny Bove was born in London. Her father was of Italian heritage, her mother from Hull. She was 16 when she met Alan, forming a relationship that was to be an enduring one of 40 years. They moved to Wrexham where their daughter Libby was born in 1991. Libby shared with me her memories of being home-educated by Genny and of a fabulous travelling trip through Europe.

It is apt to let Jill Gough of CND Cymru sum up Genny’s enormous contribution to peace and justice:

‘…

1 October 2018Comment

Renowned peace campaigner who ran for President loved cats and relished controversy

David McReynolds, who died on 17 August in New York at the age of 88, played a leading role in the US and international peace movements. He was one of the main organisers of the US anti-Vietnam war mobilisation, which not only contributed to the ending of that war but had a profound impact on US politics and society.

David was also involved in the civil rights and anti-nuclear movements and, though not a gay rights campaigner, he declared himself a homosexual at a time when this…