Sunday, June 28, 2020

Lest we Forget

Obituary from the June 2008 issue of the Socialist Standard

Robert Russell joined the Socialist Party during the second world war. He was born in 1925 and came from a deprived area of Glasgow called Anderson but despite an impoverished background he managed to obtain a bursary grant and attended the fee-paying Allan Glen’s school. He was an extremely intelligent man and after some time working in the shipping trade he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Bobby, as he was known to his friends was to become something of a Marxist scholar inside the Glasgow branch of the SPGB. He was particularly adept at conveying this knowledge to younger members of the branch. I for one am grateful for the time he took encouraging me to read the Marxist classics and for his arguments and discussion.

He was a very active branch member and during his membership he must have held about every post in the branch. As a regular branch attender he could always be relied upon to make worthwhile contributions to the branch’s activities. He was a modest sort of man and could often be self-depreciatory about his abilities as a speaker.

Despite this he was a regular indoor speaker and an excellent tutor at many of Glasgow branch’s study classes. During the sixties when Glasgow branch conducted many electoral campaigns he stood as a candidate for the SPGB at local elections.

Bobby was an extremely kind and generous person and when he married later on in his life he was especially kind to his new adopted family. When he retired from work he was the Managing Director of a Glasgow Iron Works and used his pension with great generosity towards his family. He was especially good at dealing with children as many of the young in his family can attest to.

Bobby was in many ways the embodiment of what is called a “self-educated” man. He took a lively interest in politics, science and language, but what he will be remembered for by his Glasgow comrades was his friendliness and generosity.


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