Born in Tiverton, Devon, he was the son of Samuel Sparks. Following education at Uffculme School and the Central Labour College in London, he entered employment with the Great Western Railway as a clerk.
He quickly became involved in the Labour movement, serving as election agent for the party at Barnstaple in 1923 and at Taunton in 1924. He subsequently moved to London where he was secretary of the South Kensington Labour Party. He entered local politics at Acton, Middlesex, and was a member of both Acton Borough Council and Middlesex County Council. He was mayor of Acton in 1957-58. he was also President of the London Region of the National Union of Railwaymen for ten years.
In 1945, he was chosen to contest the parliamentary constituency of Acton. There was a landslide in favour of Labour, and he was able to win the seat, overturning a large Conservative majority. Sparks held the seat until the 1959 Conservative landslide, when it was gained by Philip Holland.
He married Dora Brent in 1928, and he had 2 sons. He died in the London Borough of Brent in January 1981, aged 79.
- "Obituary: Mr J. A. Sparks". The Times. 16 January 1981. p. 14.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Joseph Sparks
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Henry Carpenter Longhurst
|Member of Parliament for Acton
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