Began work in a brickyard and then went on to become a Primitive MethodistPrimitive Methodism minister. Active in the Labour Party, he resigned from the ministry in 1919, but remained local preacher, to focus on working for the Labour Party. It was subsequently rumoured that he had been thrown out both for being a consciences objector in the First World War and for his political activity. He stood without success in a number of constituencies: Bournemouth (1918); Penrhyn & Falmouth (1924 and 1929); St Ives by-election (1928). Appointed General Secretary of the East Dorset Labour Party, in 1922 he became the South West Propagandist and later Regional Organiser for the Eastern Counties.