Thomas Linehan
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In memoriam
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This chapter considers how communists and the Party interred, mourned, memorialised and remembered their dead. It looks at the communist 'Red Funeral', its meaning, ritual, symbolism and place within the Communist Party of Great Britain's (CPGB) narrative of mourning and remembrance. British communists fell in combat, as well as at the point of production in the struggle with 'rapacious' capitalism, as in the Spanish Civil War in the fight against fascism, capitalism's supposedly darker, murderous alter ego. This life or death struggle against fascism beyond Britain's shores would add many martyred communist deaths to the CPGB's 'Roll of Honour', not all of them proletarian of course. The chapter also considers another feature of the British communist treatment of death. Communist anger against 'monstrous capitalism' was inflamed further by premature deaths believed to have been caused by the security apparatus of the capitalist state.

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Communism in Britain 1920–39

From the cradle to the grave

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