OccupationAuthor, activist Years of service1941-1945 RoleWriter
AllegianceUK NameHarry Smith Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Born25 February 1923 (age 92)
Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England (1923-02-25) Notable worksHarry's Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save it BooksHarry's Last Stand: How the, 1923: A Memoir: Lies and, The Barley Hole Chronicle, The Empress of Australi, Hamburg 1947: A Place for t
Harry leslie smith on defending the nhs
Harry Leslie Smith (born 25 February 1923) is a British writer and political commentator. He grew up in poverty in Yorkshire, and served in the RAF during the Second World War, later moving to Canada. After retiring, Smith began writing his memoirs and about social history. He has written four books about Britain during the Great Depression, the Second World War, and postwar austerity. He writes for The Guardian newspaper and has made a number of public appearances in the UK (including the 2014 Labour Party conference) and Canada as recently as 2015.
Harry s last stand by harry leslie smith extended trailer
Harry Leslie Smith was born on 25 February 1923, in Barnsley, Yorkshire, the son of an unemployed coal miner. His elder sister Marion died of tuberculosis, the family being unable to afford medical treatment. After his father became unemployed the family moved to Bradford, then to Halifax. Smith joined the RAF in 1941 and spent several years in Hamburg, Germany as part of the allied occupation force. There he met his wife-to-be, Friede. The couple returned to Britain after he was demobilised and he worked in various jobs in Yorkshire.
In the 1950s they emigrated to Canada, living in Scarborough in Toronto and later in Belleville, Ontario, and had three sons. Smith made a career in the oriental carpet trade, specialising in designing and importing new designs from the Middle East, the former Soviet Bloc and Afghanistan. Friede died in 1999, and he started to write following this. Since his retirement from business, Smith has been a writer of memoirs and social history. He now spends his time partly in Ontario and partly in Yorkshire.
Writing and speaking activities
Smith writes regularly for The Guardian commenting on politics and 20th-century history. He attracted attention in November 2013, writing that he would not wear the Remembrance poppy in future years because he felt the symbol was being used to promote support for present-day conflicts. He addressed the September 2014 Labour Party conference, speaking in support of the National Health Service, and has spoken on BBC Radio and at the Bristol Politics Festival.
Smith runs a Twitter feed with over 57,000 followers commenting on a wide range of current affairs. He has said that it was the global financial crisis of 2008 that inspired him to take his "last stand", writing and campaigning on income inequality, public services and what he sees as the diminishing prospects for young people. "I want to use my time and whatever influence I have from the book to get the young in Britain to vote the only way we can: to save our social democratic institutions. I want us to make our last stand at the ballot box."
In October 2015, Smith appeared on the BBC Three documentary We Want Our Country Back, where he sharply criticised the far-right anti-immigration political movement "Britain First".
His first three books, Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip (2009), 1923: A Memoir (2010)—these two works were also published together as The Barley Hole Chronicles—and The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir (2013), were self-published autobiographical works. His fourth book, Harry's Last Stand (2014), was published by Icon Books. Reviewers described this last book as "heart-breaking" and "a furious poem dedicated to the preservation of the welfare state", and wrote that "the book ... meanders between biography and rage against the system. The biography parts are the most compelling..." and "Smith is a fine writer and a logical thinker, even though Harry’s Last Stand makes its points early and often and is a bit of a rant at times". It has sold over 18,000 copies.