Roger Franklin obituary | Anti-war movement

My friend Roger Franklin, who has died aged 93, was a peace campaigner who lived and worked on his small organic farm for the best part of 50 years.

After the breakup of his marriage in the early 1970s Roger moved to a smallholding at Tickmorend, near Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, with a determination to live off the land. He stayed there for the rest of his life, keeping a cow and hens and growing his own food on a productive organic garden, while also tending acres of beautiful flower meadows that supported an array of wildlife.

Having been involved since the 60s in CND, Roger declared Tickmorend a nuclear-free zone. He was an active member both of the anti-nuclear campaigning group Trident Ploughshares and of the Peace Tax Campaign (now known as Conscience), and over the years was regularly arrested and jailed for his anti-nuclear activism, once also being declared bankrupt for repeatedly refusing to pay the portion of his tax allocated to the Ministry of Defence.

Roger was born in London to Cyril Franklin, a banker, and Miriam Israels, an artist. After his parents divorced, his mother was remarried to the Russian sculptor and painter Naum Gabo. After Stowe school and national service in Malaysia, Roger took a physics degree at Cambridge University and continued his studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. There he met his future wife, Beverly Allan, an African American who introduced him to a group of peace campaigners and took him on civil rights demonstrations.

They married in 1953, moving to Vermont, where Roger worked as a teacher. They had four children, Kim, Michele, Natasha and Leda, before moving in 1966 to the UK, Roger working primarily as a journalist with Resurgence magazine and Peace News. However, the couple separated in 1972 (although they never divorced) and it was then that Roger decided to buy his smallholding at Tickmorend.

An avid reader and listener to classical music, Roger was also a prolific potter whose beautiful plates, mugs and bowls were gifted to friends and family. He loved growing apples, asparagus and artichokes, delighted in eating cheesecake and gingerbread, and made jam, marmalade and sloe gin.

Devoted to his cat Valkyrie, he could apparently speak to his hens, and one winter happily had a bat living on his upstairs landing. In his 80s he was still skiing down the Gloucestershire hills when it snowed. After his death, his children asked if “peace campaigner” could be put on his death certificate under “occupation” – and the registrar obliged.

Leda, through whom I met Roger, died in 2016. He is survived by Beverly, Kim, Michele and Natasha, and seven grandchildren.


Source link

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Leave a Reply