INDEX June 29, 2001
ill Rose, a regular at The Drum in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, and a prominent member of Leyton Labour Party for many years, died on Friday June 29, 2001, at the age of about 75. He was many things to many people: often cantankerous but always stimulating company.

In the 1960s he was one of the leading lights in the British anti-Vietnam war movement and a well known journalist writing for left wing newspapers. He had earlier been a soldier, a junk recycler and had served in the merchant navy. He had a passion for travelling and visited many parts of the world. He lived in the Netherlands for a lengthy period, learning Dutch.

He never cut his hair, merely tucking it into his jacket.
Born in Ireland, he was the son of a gypsy mother, he didn't know who his father was. He was brought up by his grandmother. He himself lost touch with his only child, a daughter who must now be about 50 years old.

He said that his birthday was May 1, but given that this is such an important day in the Socialist calendar, it was probably an official birthday rather than the real date. He didn't have a birth certificate and was unable to get a pensioner's bus pass because he could not prove his birth date. He was known by at least two surnames: Rose and Turner.

He had a remarkable brain, was very well read and knowledgeable, had a fantastic memory and an eloquent turn of phrase. In a just society he would have played an important role.

In the 1980s he was a leading light in the national unemployed movement and an active member of Leyton Labour Party.
A humorous example of his journalism is featured with this obituary. Alternatively this is more serious writing. Or see Bill Rose drinking. Or see Bill Rose not drinking
Waltham Forest Guardian
July 5, 2001