Lou Kenton (1908-2012)

September 21, 2012

Our friends at the IBMT write with the sad news of the passing of IB veteran Lou Kenton. Born on 1 September 1908 in the East End of London, Lou was a print worker and prominent anti-fascist before the start of the Spanish Civil War. He arrived in Spain in July 1937 on his motorbike and served as a despatch rider, taking messages and mail to and from the various fronts, and as a driver at the International Brigade hospital at Valdeganga, near Albacete. He returned to England at the end of August 1938. With an ambulance donated by print workers, he again drove through France in January 1939, but arrived at the frontier as Catalonia was falling to the fascists. In later life he was a full-time organiser for the British Communist Party and secretary of the British Czechoslovak Friendship League until the Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, after which he also left the party. He then returned to being a print worker until retirement at the age of 73. In 2009, aged 100, he was awarded Spanish citizenship at a ceremony at the Spanish embassy in London. He died on 17 September 2012, aged 104.