Archibald Fenner Brockway
Archibald Fenner Brockway, Baron Brockway (1 November 1888 – 28 April 1988) was a British socialist politician, humanist campaigner and anti-war activist.
Fenner Brockway was born to W. G. Brockway and Frances Elizabeth Abbey in Calcutta, British India. While attending the School for the Sons of Missionaries, then in Blackheath, London (now Eltham College), from 1897 to 1905, he developed an interest in politics.
After leaving school, he worked as a journalist for newspapers and journals including The Quiver, the Daily News and the Christian Commonwealth. In 1907, Brockway joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and was a regular visitor to the Fabian Society. He was appointed editor of the Labour Leader (the newspaper of the ILP, later called the New Leader) and was, by 1913, a committed pacifist. He opposed sending troops to France during the First World War and, through his position as editor of the Labour Leader, was outspoken in his views about the conflict.
He was arrested three times as a contentious objector and even held in the Tower of London for a night.
Following his release, he became an active member of the India League, which advocated Indian independence. He became secretary of the ILP in 1923 and later its chairman. Years later, the Government of India honoured him with the third highest civilian award of the Padma Bhushan in 1989.
Despite his pacifism Fenner Brockway assisted in the recruitment of British volunteers to fight the fascist forces of Francisco Franco in Spain through the ILP Contingent. He sailed to Calais in Feb 1937 and was believed to have been destined for Spain. Among those who went to Spain was Eric Blair (better known as George Orwell) and it is known that Brockway wrote a letter of recommendation for Blair to present to the ILP representatives in Barcelona.
Brockway appeared in Hitler's Black Book that contained a list of British subjects and residents who would have been subject to immediate arrest had the Nazi's successfully invaded the UK. The contents of the book was not publicly known until after the Second World War. Following the war inclusion in the book became a status symbol in the UK.
He served in parliament before and after World War II and was created a Life Peer in 1964.
Fenner Brockway is distantly related to Robert Brockway.
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