Commiserations from Australia on the death of Dave Hyland

David Edward Hyland passed away on the night of December 8, 2013. He was the leader of the faction of the old Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) of Britain that declared its support for the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and opposed the attempt of the party’s leadership, Gerry Healy, Cliff Slaughter and Mike Banda, to liquidate the Trotskyist movement in Britain and internationally. Following the split of the WRP from the ICFI in 1986, he became national secretary of the British section, a position he held until he retired in 1998 due to ill health. (See: David Edward Hyland: March 7, 1947—December 8, 2013 ”).

Within hours of Dave’s death, letters of condolence began to arrive from all over the world, sent to his wife, Eileen, and his children, Julie, Tony, Claire and Paula, and to Dave’s comrades in the Socialist Equality Party of Britain. The letters testify to the esteem in which Dave Hyland was held by comrades in the UK and internationally.

Below, we publish a final selection of condolences sent by some of Dave’s comrades from Australia.


Dear Tony,

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your father, Dave. I was shocked when I saw his photo on the site. I met Dave when he came to Australia and campaigned in Melbourne, many moons ago.

After one meeting, a number of comrades took Dave out for a feed and we ended up in a little Chinese restaurant in Footscray, where we spent a very pleasant evening together. It’s a memory that will always stay with me.

Dave Hyland played an extremely significant role in defending the principles of the Trotskyist movement. A contribution, as we now know, which was to lead to the driving out of the petty-bourgeois forces from the ranks of the Forth International and the internationalists gaining the upper hand for the first time in three decades.

I remember thinking that night at the restaurant of his contributions to the party and the significance of having met up with one the best representatives that the Trotskyist movement had produced.

Please pass our best wishes on to Julie, your Mum and the family, and to Tania and the girls as well.

Warmest Regards,

Ken & Regina


Dear Julie and Tony,

I just want to add my condolences to you and your whole family. I read the obituary on the World Socialist Web Site with great sadness at your father's death, but also with awe at the achievements of his life.

I am very privileged to have enjoyed Dave and Eileen's hospitality, and also remember every one of the occasions when he travelled to Australia as part of his international responsibilities.

Like all comrades, I was amazed at the news he had managed, despite terrible illness, to attend the first Congress of the British SEP through sheer revolutionary determination.

I read his analysis of Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution. It strikes me that his own words could well apply to his own life: “The emergence of a proletariat, conscious of itself as a class in and for itself, is what lay behind ‘the extraordinary vitality’ that ‘obstinately persists in Moscow.’”

My thoughts are very much with you all.

With comradely greetings,



Dear Julie and Tony,

Within all the turmoil of the 1985-86 attempts by the leadership of the WRP to liquidate the Trotskyist movement in Britain, Comrade Dave stood firm and principled in leading comrades in defense of the International Committee. Now he is gone, but his legacy lives on in the SEP of Britain.

You and Tony must be so proud to have had Comrade Dave as father and mentor. He indeed represented all that is best in the British working class.

Please give my condolences to your mother Eileen and to your sisters Claire and Paula and all the family.



Dear Julie, Tony and family,

Please accept our very deepest condolences on Dave's sad passing.

His was a life cut far too short with so much more to offer. But a life that was lived on the basis of principle and dedication to the socialist future of mankind.

I know your grief is profound, but please take some comfort from the knowledge that many, many hundreds of your comrades, friends and those whom Dave touched throughout his life are grieving with you.

Unlike Healy, we will train our present and future cadre on the strengths and lessons of the experiences of our movement, and Dave's life will be a central part of that.

I know you are immensely proud of your father and so are we.

Please know we are all thinking of you at this difficult time.

Our very best regards,

Cheryl, Warwick, Brendan and Kelly


Dear Tony,

I'm very sorry to hear the news of your father passing away.

I had the privilege of meeting him and hearing him speak at my first party Congress in Sydney, and he left an indelible impression on me. Of course, I had known of his struggle from the How the WRP Betrayed Trotskyism , and his courage and defence of Trotskyism were an inspiration to me and all the youth like me in the movement.

Our thoughts are with you and your family in these hard times.

Warmest regards,