David Ross: Express NUJactivist and veteran foreign correspondent

David Ross, veteran foreign correspondent and NUJ activist, has died at the age of 79. David, whose journalist wife Tamara herself died little more than a year ago, continued as a freelance up to his death, which took place at his London home, from a heart attack.

Ross wrote his first stories as a teenager, watching German bombs fall on London from the roof of his parents’ home, then hurrying to the scene by bicycle and filing his copy to local weeklies. Once a bomb struck and destroyed the telephone box moments after he had finished dictating his story.

After wartime service in the RAF, he worked for Reuters, the Continental Daily Mail, the Daily Herald (whose Paris correspondent he was during the fall of the Fourth Republic) and the Daily Express, where he was a foreign fireman, before working on the foreign desk in the old ‘Black Lubyanka’ in Fleet Street.

For several years in the turbulent 1970s he was NUJ FoC, engaged in verbal battle with Beaverbrook Newspapers’ boss Jocelyn Stevens. He was also an enthusiastic member of the NUJ, an active branch member and ADM delegate.

Later he specialised in energy issues, which led him to write a wellregarded book, Power from the Waves.

He became a profound sceptic about nuclear power, and one of the foremost spokesmen for renewable energy, especially wave power. One of his informed, and cogent, letters on the subject was published in The Independent the day after his death. He also wrote his own death notice, blaming his death on high blood pressure caused by government energy policy. He left the Express 20 years ago but was a regular contributor to Private Eye and Tribune. He is survived by his daughter, Eve, his son Bernard and four grandchildren.

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