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Yorkshireman who took on the print unions, JWM Thompson, has died

John Thompson, the former editor of The Sunday Telegraph who started his career on the Driffied Times, has died at the age of 93.

Known as JWM Thompson, he was born in 1920, one of three sons of a haulage contractor and was brought up mainly in Leeds and was educated at the local grammar school, Roundhay.

He endured the worst of the bitter disputes between management and print unions that would ultimately usher in a new, digital age during the final years of Fleet Street but his early life was less turbulent.

In his obituary at The Telegraph, the writer notes that the close friend of fellow Yorkshireman, reknowned scultpture Henry Moore, had taken a distinctively gentle approach to his duties as a reporter.

“He began his career before the Second World War, as a junior reporter on the weekly newspaper at Driffield in Yorkshire. He reported the usual flower shows, funerals and local magistrates’ court cases, though, to his editor’s displeasure, he showed characteristic delicacy by deciding not to report on a rape trial.”

He is survived by his wife, and their son and daughter.

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