Vernon Richards

Vernon Richards (19 July 1915 - 10 December 2001) was an Anglo-Italian anarchist, editor, author and companion of Marie-Louise Berneri.

He was born Vero Recchioni in London in 1915. He was educated at Emanuel School, and King's College London, where he trained as a civil engineer. He helped his father Emidio Recchioni with propaganda work against Benito Mussolini, was arrested in Paris in January 1935 and extradited from France. In 1936, he published in collaboration with Camillo Berneri, a bilingual anarchist and antifascist, the paper Italia Libera/Free Italy.

Richards founded and edited Spain and the World, which became Revolt in 1939, and eventually was followed by War Commentary 1939-1945, all filling the gap left by the cessation of Freedom in 1932, and the title naturally reverted to Freedom from 1945. With his co-editors Philip Sansom and John Hewetson, he was tried at the Old Bailey and imprisoned for nine months in 1945 for conspiring to publish an article allegedly inciting soldiers to disaffect from their duty or allegiance. (Marie-Louise Berneri was excluded from the indictment because spouses are legally incapable of conspiring with each other.) He was a conscientious objector during the war. He continued as editor of Freedom until 1964, and ran Freedom Press for longer. Among his publications were Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (1953) and Errico Malatesta - Life and Ideas (1965). He was a personal friend and official photographer of George Orwell.

He died in Hadleigh, Suffolk in 2001

Reference: Obituary, Guardian, 4 February 2002

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