Jim Fyrth

It is with immense sadness that we learn of the death of Jim Fyrth, one of our most distinguished members who made an enormous contribution to the work of the SHS and its predecessor over many decades.
Jim served on the committee of the SHS for many years and only stepped down latterly because of ill health. He remained keenly interested in the activities of the Society.
We send condolences to his family.
Details of the funeral will be made available shortly.

A brief biography for those who did not know him.
Jim Fyrth

A distinguished Marxist historian and teacher specialising in British trade union and labour history of the 20th century. He took a particular interest in the Spanish Civil War, a subject on which he produced two books, one co-edited with Sally Alexander.
He was an active member of the SHS and its predecessor and a frequent contributor to Socialist History Society publications. He was also active in the Society for the Study of Labour History and contributed to the Dictionary of Labour Biography.

His Main Publications
An Indian Landscape 1944-1946, SHS OP 2001.
The Foundry Workers: A Trade Union History, 1959
Labour’s High Noon: Government and Economy, 1945-1951, editor, 1993
Labour’s Promised Land? Culture and Society in Labour Britain, 1945-1951, editor, 1995
The Signal was Spain: The Spanish Aid Movement in Britain, 1936-1939, 1985
Women’s Voices of the Spanish Civil War, co-editor with Sally Alexander, 1991
Britain, Fascism and the Popular Front, editor, 1985

I feel privileged to have known him.

David Morgan
SHS Secretary

3 Responses to “Jim Fyrth”

  1. 1 Steve Parsons
    18 June 2010 at 10:17 am

    It is with great sadness to learn of the death of Jim Fyrth. I first got to know him 30 years ago in the course of research for an MA on the CP and 1956 – he was a great help not only with details of his own experiences but with suggestions of whom to contact (figures representing all shades of opinion and subsequent wildly varying political tragectories). He continued to be extremely generous with his time whenever I had cause to ask for his input regarding further research on party members in the professions. I always found his responses to my questions serious and well-thoughtout. We remained in contact.
    It is a privilege to have known him.

  2. 12 January 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Jim and Geraldine were great friends of my husband and I, Pat and Jack Elliott. Jack attended Jim’s summer schools in Devon for many years and it was one of these that brought us together. We were witnesses at Jim and Geraldine’s wedding and shared several holidays with them. I last saw Jim on Friday 2nd October 2009 and was amazed at his excellent recollection of the times that we had shared together. Jack sadly passed away in 1994 and Jim wrote an obituary for the Guardian which I treasure. Jim and Jack were very fond of each other and Jim was a wonderful mentor for Jack, bringing his lifelong socialism into a more tutored perspective.

    I have many happy memories of the four of us which sadly I can no longer share with any of the participants.

    Pat Elliott 12.01.12

    • 3 morganshs
      12 January 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks for these comments about Jim Fyrth, whom we all still miss. I believe that his archive is deposited at the Bishopsgate Institute.

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June 2010

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