Militant Trade Unionist, Republican, Communist, Artist and Poet

RCN members recently heard of the death of our comrade Charlie Rees.

Charlie, together with his partner Deidre McCartin, was one of the founding members of the Scottish Socialist Party. He had been an active socialist in the south of England, but also remembered his family’s Welsh roots. After moving from Allihies in West Cork, where Charlie met Deirdre, they both became active members of the Ayr branch for several years and joined the RCN. Charlie used his artistic skills to create eye-catching posters and installations on the SSP stalls on a regular basis.

For personal reasons Charlie and Deirdre later moved to Scarborough. Here they were pivotal in setting up a lively, inclusive anti war group that broadened out to taking direct action in support of all sorts of progressive and socialist activities.

In response to our farewell meeting, in a Glasgow pub, Charlie wrote the accompanying poem which describes his first becoming aware of other RCN comrades at an SSP Conference and his feelings on our parting.

His enthusiasm, warmth and humanity are greatly missed.

March 18th 2001

Comrades, friends, mates, pals
None of these words describe the way I feel
A bond between us all

They are my left hand

Pure chance we met, just taking any seat
A trick of fate
A show of hands and there we were

I bled today
I cut off my left hand
Charlie Rees