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Christopher Berkeley Peyton Birch was born in 1928 in St Kitts, which was then the British West Indies, the son of Norman Peyton Birch and Iris Berkeley King. His father was the accountant at the St Kitts branch of Barclays Bank; his mother's family had been in the
Chris and Betty went to Budapest in 1955, where he was a Young Communist League representative. There he served on the preparatory committee for a world youth festival organised by the World Federation of Democratic Youth. Their time in
On their return to
A journalist for most of his working life, he was editor of a local government weekly for 13 years, taught journalism at the London College of Printing (now known as the London College of Communications), and was a journalist and sub-editor on the Morning Star, for a period of three-and-a-half years.
Fulfilling roles such as a NUJ activist, party branch officer, treasurer of the International Brigade Memorial Appeal and author of Communist Party policy on HIV/Aids, he remained a member of the CPGB until 1991 when it dissolved itself into the short-lived Democratic Left. Although Chris and Betty Birch still regard themselves as Communists, despite not having been a member of any communist organisation since 1991.
Chris’ own bisexuality has been open and accepted within a very happy marriage. He has given voluntary work at
He published his autobiography “My Life: The Caribbean, Communism,