Ken Stead – Rest In Peace Comrade

ken stead rip

A personal tribute from an old comrade and friend.

It came as a shock when I was informed of the passing of my old friend and comrade, Ken Stead. I had lost touch with Ken and had only seen him occasionally over the past few years, usually at BM meetings.

I have known Ken since 1977, having met him when we were both active with the National Front. Ken was living in Skipton, but was active with the Bradford branch of the NF, under the leadership of George Wright. Although he was born in Wakefield, he moved to Skipton in North Yorkshire with his family, but his love was always Wakefield, and his beloved Wakefield Trinity rugby league club.

After meeting young activists from the Leeds branch, he began to spend more time in our city, helping with paper sales, leaflet drives and meetings. During the late 70s and into the early 80s, Leeds was a hotbed of political violence between Nationalists and Marxist groups. Being slightly older than many of our young activists, Ken was respected by our close-knit group, and his presence at ‘lively’ activities was reassuring to many. He had a wicked sense of humour and didn’t suffer fools lightly, something that we quickly found out.

Ken became part of the ‘Wolf Pack’, a group of activists that used to roam around the city centre on a Saturday afternoon, hunting reds and any fellow-travellers (easily spotted by their ANAL badges). On one NF paper sale outside of Elland Road in the early 80s, a seller was kicked from behind by a Tottenham fan. Ken didn’t think twice and jumped in to protect his comrade. The assailant and Ken were both arrested.

With the infighting and splits in Nationalism that always started from the top, I lost touch with Ken. I did see him later after we both joined the British Movement, and we renewed our friendship over a few beers. I last met up with him about 12 months ago at a meeting in Leeds, which sadly was the last time we spoke.

The larger-than-life personality that was Ken Stead will be sadly missed. RIP Comrade

Rest In Peace Comrade.

Ich Hatt’ Einen Kameraden

‘I Had A Comrade’ is a traditional German song played at memorials for the fallen. RIP Ken.

“Ich Hatt’ Einen Kameraden”
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