Frank Maitland/Henry Sara Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers re left-wing political activities, mainly Trotskyist, including material of British Section of the International Left Opposition and of Communist League of America/Workers' Party; ephemeral publications, press-cuttings, and some correspondence, 1927-55.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Sara was born in 1886. Attracted early to social ideals, with the advent of war in 1914 Sara aligned himself with the anti-militarists. Following a campaign of public meetings he was arrested and conscripted, and his continued refusal to submit to army discipline resulted in his imprisonment. After the war, Sara visited both the USA and the USSR, and despite having some misgivings, he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1923. Sara became a popular speaker of some standing within the Party, but his own independence of thought and criticism of its leaders led him into direct conflict with them. His association with other 'dissidents', including Reg Groves and Harry Wicks led to his being expelled from the Party in 1932. Sara aligned himself with the Balham Group, working actively with them. During this time, Sara also worked as a lecturer-organiser with the National Council of Labour Colleges. Towards the end of his life, he became a temporary employee of the Post Office, whilst still remaining active in the Labour movement. He died, after a year of ill-health, in 1953.

Frank Maitland was a friend of Sara's, and acted as his executor.

Reference: Obituary of Sara by Reg Groves in Socialist Leader(28 November 1953).

Conditions Governing Access

Access : Open

Archivist's Note

Authority files exist for Henry Sara (GB 152 AAR0962) and Frank Maitland (GBR 0152 AAR0963).

Custodial History

The collection was deposited with the Centre in 1974.

Accruals

  • April 1975, 1 file re: Chen Du Siu;
  • August 1977, Miscellaneous material;
  • September 1982, Series of pamphlets;
  • June 1992, Correspondence to/from Sara.

Personal Names