Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line: Revolutionary History, Vol. 7 No. 2


Tom Cowan (1929–1998)

I WAS shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Tom Cowan last year at the age of 69. In 1945, at the age of 16, he left the Communist Party and joined the Oehlerite Socialist Workers League, in whose journal, Workers Review, from January to March 1948, he published articles stating a position on trade unions which he reiterated in his review of the pamphlet The Struggle for an Independent Trade Union in Merseyside and Hull, 1954-55, in Revolutionary History, Volume 6, no. 2–3. In 1958, as a member of the Electrical Trades Union, Tom was tried by the Stalinist controllers of the union for opposing their conduct. He opposed John Byrne and Les Cannon, the right-wing candidates, in the union elections.

For me, Tom was a living connection with a bygone period and with comrades who have long since gone. My condolences to his family, friends and comrades.

Ernie Rogers

Updated by ETOL: 3.10.2011