Harry Smith
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Labour conference: Harry Smith recalls 'desperation of poverty' pre-NHS

A 91-year-old gave a passionate plea for the NHS, as he recalled harsh times growing up in Barnsley without a health service, and the death of his 10-year-old sister.

Delegates gave Harry Smith a standing ovation for his speech on how he joined Labour, and voted for the creation of the NHS.

He spoke about his childhood background in "rampant poverty" and recalled how his sister's body was "dumped nameless into a pauper's pit".

Mr Smith said it was a "bleak time" when public health care did not exist, and hospitals and medicines were only for "the privileged few".

He told the conference in Manchester that Britain "must never ever let the NHS free from our grasp" and he brought delegates to their feet when he ended his speech with the plea: "Mr Cameron, Keep your mitts off my NHS".

BBC coverage of the Labour conference on Wednesday

BBC coverage of the Labour conference on Tuesday

BBC coverage of the Labour conference on Monday

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