Norman Smith

Members of Kingston Peace Council will be very sad to hear of the passing away on 20th November of Norman Smith, for many years an active member.

Norman worked for the Foreign Office and spent ten years in Japan. His visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where he met some of the Hibakusha survivors of the atomic bomb were an experience which laid the foundations of his lifelong passion for peace.

Returning to London in 1972, Norman co-founded Kingston Peace Council, which later amalgamated with the local CND group. He was its Secretary and Chair by turns for many years. He inaugurated the Hiroshima Day commemoration in Canbury Gardens and built 6 wooden model boats which we still launch on the Thames every year at that event. He converted an old pram into a mobile street stall (it was salmon pink in those days) and later did the same with an old wheelchair! He kept us on track and helped to make Kingston Peace Council one of the most widely acclaimed peace groups in the country. Norman worked tirelessly to raise awareness of what he regarded as the immorality of all militarism, and nuclear weapons in particular. Having joined the Quakers, the Peace Testimony was his guiding principle and his commitment was deeply felt and evident in his dedicated witness for peace.

In 2001, Norman and his wife Myra moved to Sheffield. He immediately and energetically joined up with the peace movement there, giving the Quaker Peace Group, Sheffield Peace Forum and Sheffield CND (and Sheffield U3A) his very active best.

His dedication, consistency in the face of public and political opposition and indifference was rooted in his uncompromising pacifism. He will long remain an example to us all.

(Thanks to Rosalie Huzzard)