19 October 2009

Sir Ludovic Kennedy

We have lost a most passionate and true campaigner of Injustice.  Hearing today of the death of Sir Ludovic filled me with sadness and I along with many others will be for ever grateful for his support over the years. I will treasure letters he sent me and I feel humbled that he wrote about my case in both the media and books.  He was definitely a journalist who made a difference.


Blogger Alan said...

Thanks for letting us know about this. He was an exceptional person. I have his book, "Thirty-Six Murders & Two Immoral Earnings", which is one of the best books I've ever read on the problem of miscarriages of justices. It also shows to what extents he went to try to rectify such errors for people he didn't even know.

6:44 am  
Blogger nola said...

It would be great if someone would take his place.

5:27 pm  
Anonymous Nigel said...

Like father, like son... Both Ludovic Kennedy and his father Edward were, in their two different ways, men of courage - and both swam against the tide.

I read the story of Captain Edward Coverley Kennedy, who at the outbreak of the Second World War commanded a hastily converted ex-P & O liner called the "Rawalpindi". In October 1939, she found herself patrolling the North Atlantic searching for German blockade runners, when she ran into the two mightiest ships (up to the Bismarck and the Tirpitz) in Hitler's navy - Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The Germans demanded surrender, but Captain Kennedy said to one of his officers: "We'll fight them both!"

After sending a distress call, "Rawalpindi" put up the best fight she could, with her elderly obsolete guns against hopeless odds. Kennedy followed the hard ritual of the sea, and went down with his ship and most of his men.

An action that surely merited the Victoria Cross (like that of the "Jervis Bay" a year later)? Not to the Admiralty, for Kennedy had been court-martialled in the 1920s, I believe, for showing partiality towards the Scottish miners in the industrial unrest of that time. The action against the two German ships earned Kennedy a mere mention in dispatches. Then as now, the British establishment has a streak of petulance a mile wide - as his son Ludovic Kennedy and Susan know only too well.

9:28 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

Thanks to Nigel for this very enlightening and descriptive story. As regards Janet's comment, it does seem as though there are a number of lawyers and journalists who have picked up the baton. Also, we are now living in a slightly different time, where people of all kinds can make a difference, as pointed out in this article.

5:40 am  

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