Ford worker’s widow seeks answers after death from asbestos-related cancer

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 March 2019

Victor Back, left, and his dad Sydney, right, both worked at Ford Dagenham. Picture: Thompsons Solicitors

Victor Back, left, and his dad Sydney, right, both worked at Ford Dagenham. Picture: Thompsons Solicitors

Thompsons Solicitors

The wife of a former Ford Dagenham employee who died of an asbestos-related cancer is calling on his former colleagues to come forward.

Victor Back was 62 when he died of mesothelioma - a disease often diagnosed many years after exposure to asbestos dust.

Now his wife Carol, from Dagenham, is asking for information from others who worked at the factory to see whether he may have been exposed to the deadly particles while he worked at the factory - or even as a child while helping to was his dad’s dusty work clothes.

Victor’s dad Sydney joined the factory in 1954, the same year Victor was born.

He worked in the foundry and block department as a labourer, oiler and greaser until 1982.

When Victor, was growing up, he and his mother would wash Sydney’s work clothes, which would be covered in dust.

Sydney later developed asbestosis, a lung condition caused by long-term exposure to asbestos.

Victor himself spent time working at the factory, taking on a job in the press shop between 1974 and 1976.

Since his death in June 2017, Carol has been searching for answers.

She said: “My husband was a fit and healthy 62-year-old but this disease took all of that away from him.

“It was almost as if he’d aged 20 years in a matter of months. It was impossible to watch.”

The Ford factory opened in 1931 and at its peak, employed around 40,000 people - many of whom, like Victor and Sydney, came from Dagenham or the surrounding areas.

Amanda Jones, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “If there is anyone with information about the use of asbestos at the Ford factory between 1954 and 1982, please do get in touch.

“Your assistance could prove vital in helping Carol and her family understand how Victor came to be exposed to asbestos.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones at Thompsons on 02920 445345, or by email at

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