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This article appears in the latest issue of the IBMT Magazine (issue 2-2017), which IBMT members receive in the post. Non-members have to wait until another issue is published before the previous issue is posted on this website. The article was written in 1975 by International Brigader Frank Farr, then living in London, though previously from Leicester. Unpublished until now, it is in the IBMT Archive at the Marx Memorial Library in London. Farr’s papers, including a diary of his time in Spain, were donated to the Trust in 2016 by his family.

Benjamin Britten’s requiem for fallen International Brigaders will be heard on 9 August at this year’s BBC Proms festival of orchestral music.

‘Ballad of Heroes’ will be performed by the BBC National Orchestra and the Chorus of Wales in a programme that also includes works by Brian Ellias and Elgar.

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the arrival of nearly 4,000 refugee children from Spain’s Basque Country, along with several hundred adult carers, in what remains the largest influx of refugees to Britain in one day.

They arrived in Southampton on 23 May 1937, having sailed from Bilbao on the Habana (pictured) to escape Franco’s bombing campaign in northern Spain – which included the razing of Guernica.

The following message was received on 18 May from our Polish friends in Inicjatywa Łapy precz od ulicy Dąbrowszczaków (Hands off Dabrowszczacy Street Initiative).

Dąbrowski Brigade street in Warsaw, named after Polish volunteers from the International Brigades, stays!

By Marshall Mateer (IBMT Film Coordinator)


Sculptor and IBMT member Frank Casey writes to say that he is hopeful of raising enough money for four full-scale casts to be made of relief panels portraits of volunteers John Cornford (1915-1936) and Bob Smillie (1917-1937). 


We hope that all our supporters will join us on 10 June at 12 noon at the junction of Headington Hill and Morrell Avenue, Oxford, to celebrate the unveiling of the memorial to the Oxfordshire volunteers of the International Brigades.


May this year marks the 80th anniversary of the ‘Barcelona May Days’ when dissident anarchist forces and those of the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista) clashed with the communist and socialist-backed Spanish Republican authorities on the streets of the Catalan capital. A memoir of the event takes up much of George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’, which in turn inspired the Ken Loach film ‘Land and Freedom’.

Ocho tells the story of eight men from Hull who went to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Jane Thornton is a BAFTA-winning playwright and she has worked with local historians and relatives of the eight men to weave together this fascinating tale, not only of the men but of the wives they left behind. 

Here is the provisional programme for the IBMT’s 2017 Annual General Meeting weekend:



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