Terry Liddle Memorial Event – update

Terry Liddle Memorial Event
Saturday 20th April 2013, 2pm to 5pm. Brockway Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
All welcome to come and enjoy a few nibbles, a bit to drink and good comradeship in honour of Terry Liddle 1948-2012
In wild, but considered celebration of Terry Liddle’s maverick life of activism, Atheism, Socialism, Animal Rights, Republicanism, Trades Unionism, Temperance (sometimes), Deptford and the World.
Bookstall on the day. A couple of speeches, with contributions from the floor and the Workers Music Association:
Joe Hill; The Land it is the Landlords’; William Brown; Solidarity Forever; The Internationale



The Freethought History Research Group in conjunction

with the Conway Hall Ethical Society

is organising a memorial meeting for the late Terry Liddle in

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

Clever, witty speakers, a great  choir, lots of discussion and refreshments!


Please let deb.berns@gmail.com know if you are coming  (and wish to share  your memories of Terry).

Hommage à Terry Liddle (1948 – 2012)

C’est avec stupeur et beaucoup de tristesse que nous avons appris le décès de Terry Liddle, membre du Comité International de Liaison des Athées et des Libres Penseurs et l’un des fondateurs du Freethought History Research Group (FHRG) avec lequel la Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée avait co-organisé la conférence anglo-française : «Vers une nouvelle internationale de la Libre Pensée !» le 14 mai 2011 à Londres (1).
Engagé très jeune dans la mêlée sociale, Terry aura cherché tout au long de sa vie, à travers ses engagements successifs, à rester fidèle à ce qu’il plaçait au centre de ses préoccupations : briser les chaînes de l’oppression, œuvrer à l’émancipation de l’humanité.
Il consacra totalement ces dix dernières années au Freethought History Research Group, qu’il avait fondé en 2003 à Londres. Interviewé dans les colonnes de notre mensuel en avril 2010 (2) Terry expliquait avec enthousiasme ce qui l’avait amené à constituer un tel groupe : «Bien que la Libre Pensée ait une longue et riche histoire en Grande-Bretagne (…) nous sentions que les libres penseurs d’aujourd’hui avaient quelque peu négligé cette histoire. Il était temps de la sortir des ténèbres !» Ce qu’il fit jusqu’à son dernier souffle, en republiant des textes fondamentaux d’auteurs comme G.W. Foote ou F.A. Ridley (3) dont il appréciait particulièrement «l’analyse du rôle idéologique joué par les religions pour maintenir l’aliénation des relations sociales dans la société bourgeoise».
Terry était, à tous égards, un authentique libre penseur. Sa contribution à la reconstitution d’une authentique internationale de la Libre Pensée est immense, notamment à travers la publication régulière du journal du FHRG.
Il était aussi poète… et La Raison, dont il fut l’un des contributeurs, lui rend un dernier hommage en publiant ces quelques lignes :
DEATH SONG (Terry Liddle)
«Camarades, lorsque je serai mort et que je ne serai rien d’autre que de la poussière dans les airs, je vous demande d’exaucer un dernier souhait, faites cela pour moi camarades : lever un verre de vin rouge ou une pinte de bière pour dire adieu à votre camarade, l’un de ces rares fous qui pensaient pouvoir changer le monde et qui rêvaient que nous puissions tout réinventer.»
Farewell, Terry !
Catherine Le Fur
Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée – France

(1) Cf. La Raison n° 563, juillet-août 2011.
(2) Cf La Raison n° 550, avril 2010.
(3) Voir L’Idée Libre n°284, mars 2009 «La contre-réforme catholique du XXe siècle» par FA Ridley.

Terry Liddle – condolences from the IRELP, France

I r e l p


Institut de Recherches et d’Etudes de la Libre Pensée

70, rue des Panoyaux

75020 Paris

Gestionnaire de la bibliothèque d’Entraide et Solidarité




Terry Liddle


Au Freethought History Research Group


Chers camarades et amis,


L’Institut de  Recherches et d’Etudes de la Libre Pensée (IRELP) vient d’apprendre le décès de notre camarade et ami Terry Liddle, fondateur et dirigeant du FHRG.

C’est une triste nouvelle et nous souhaitons vous adresser nos plus sincères condoléances.

C’est une grande perte non seulement pour le FHRG mais pour tout le mouvement libre-penseur à travers le monde.

Bien souvent, les travaux de Terry et l’œuvre du Freethought History Research Group ont été une source d’inspiration et de confiance pour nos propres activités en France.

Nous nous souvenons plus particulièrement de la conférence commune en mai 2011, à Londres, En avant vers une nouvelle Internationale de la Libre Pensée qui avait été un moment fort de collaboration entre nous.


Veuillez transmettre à tous ceux qui connaissaient et appréciaient Terry nos pensées attristées.


Pour l’IRELP

Jean-Marc Schiappa

Tendance Coatesy

Terry Liddle 1948 – 2012, Comrade.

Terry Liddle died on November the 16/17 November 2012 aged 64 , after suffering ill health for a long time.

Many people on the left will have memories of Terry. There are those much more familiar with him than myself. A full obituary will be difficult to write. But this is one tribute to his memory.

I first became acquainted with Terry around 1979-1980, when he was involved in setting up an explicitly socialist atheist group. With my house-mate John, a cockney anarchist and shop steward at Warwick University, I joined. But living in Leamington Spa we had only written contact.

This group, according to the secularist anarchist Nicolas Walter, was bound to run into difficulties, as non-belief in religion takes many, often clashing, forms on the left. Indeed the organisation did not last. But Terry continued to place atheism, along with left democratic…

View original post 848 more words

Terry Liddle 1948-2012

The FHRG is very sad to note the death of one of our founding and most active members, Terry Liddle, on 15 November at the age of 64. Terry had been unwell for a long time, but had remained active in promoting freethought right to the end. We hope to publish tributes to Terry as we get them, but in the meantime, here are Terry’s own instructions for the rest of us on how to respond to his death. It comes from the collection Ça ira! which Terry edited for the FHRG in 2010.

Terry Liddle

Comrades when I’m dead and gone, no more than dust on the breeze
I beg you grant me one last wish, comrades do this for me please
Raise a glass of the blood red wine or a mug of the barley brew
Bid farewell to your comrade one of the foolish few
Who thought we could rearrange the world, dreamed we could make all things new

Kiss goodbye to my lovers, whose bodies I warmed with lust
My body once warm it is no more, naught but a whiff of dust
Remember how we fought the fight, lost and fought again
How we bound our bloody wounds, how we endured the pain
For we knew that like the phoenix our cause would rise again

The banners are tattered and faded, a paler shade of red
The devices writ upon them now can be hardly read
But we know every one of the words of hope, words of struggle and fight
A dream of a new and brighter dawn after the long dark night
A world reborn in liberty, a world we have put to right

Toilers of field and factory, workers of hand and brain
Will ye not rise like lions, sever the slaver’s chain
Will ye not cast down priests and kings and the money power crew
Remember we are millions and the tyrants but a few
Destroy their rule of exploitation and rebuild the world anew.

So sup your ale my comrades, drink deep of the heady wine
Cherish the sprouting barley, the grapes clustered on the vine
Say farewell to the old world, a world of grasp and greed
A world where poor folk hungered, a world of want and need
Raise a glass to your fallen comrade, who planted freedom’s seed

About the Freethought History Research Group

Freethought has a long and rich history in Britain dating back to the 18th century. Sadly, not only is this history not known to the general public, it is not known to many freethinkers. In 2003 the Freethought History Research Group was formed to encourage interest and research into this much neglected field. We now have members in seven countries.

The group’s main activity has been republication of historical freethought tracts, many of which have been out of print for over a century. Among the authors we have published are Dan Chatterton, F A Ridley, G W Foote, Ernestine Rose and Ella Twynam. We also publish some contemporary material and the Journal of Freethought History which appears twice a year. Recently we have published a poetry anthology and future plans include a collection of essays on the theme “A 21st Century Case for Atheism”.

A major feature of our Annual General Meeting, usually held in October or November, is a lecture on an aspect of freethought history. Subjects have included Robert Forder, the history of South Place Ethical Society, T A Jackson, Republicanism, and Political Islam. From time to time we hold other meetings and seminars.

Where practical and possible we will render aid to researchers and students. We will provide speakers for meetings of other groups and write for their publications. We will co-operate on a local, national and international level with such groups to advance our common aims.

Membership of FHRG costs £10.00 (£5.00 unwaged) per annum. For this members receive at least two pamphlets, two issues of the journal, a regular newsletter and a discount on previous publications. Members are encouraged to contribute articles and reviews to the journal.

To contact the group, write to:
15 Brampton House
Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RA

Or e-mail the secretary using this link