The 2019 Aberdeen Trades Union Council report contains this poem written by Tommy Campbell, Unite’s Regional Industrial Organiser. It was especially written for a forthcoming booklet on Aberdeen’s International Brigaders.
Granite City Heroes
Working-class heroes, so strong; so proud
your ideals keep us fighting, shouting aloud
whilst we campaign for justice, your hopes see us through
in this time of peace in Aberdeen, paid for by you.
Your voices still echo, in the old Castlegate
where you challenged the fascists and spoke out against Hate
with your thoughts for the future and a better world yet to gain
the same dreams of freedom that took you to Spain.
Your courage emboldened on an Aberdeen street
you determined your fate and accepted no defeat
humanity, so chiselled, seen sharp on your face
the photos now displayed in so many a place.
Your flame, burning gentle, we will keep it alight
fighting the good fight, for right, against might
and the love for all others that’s the meaning of you
your example a guidance, a help to bring us through.
Your proud battle flag is there for all to see
it mirrors your conscience and marks your bravery
shrouded in blood and shrouded in pain
your memory lives on as you have not died in vain.
For the campaign’s not over, as onwards we go
we are strong, proud and many, we want all to know
No pasarán was their call and it’s with us still
for we’re holding that line and we always will.
The poem was first read out by Tommy Campbell (pictured) at a commemorative event in the city last September. Here’s the report of the event from the Aberdeen Trades Council’s 2019 annual report…
The XV International Brigade Aberdeen Commemoration Committee held an event at the Aberdeen City Council Town House on Friday 28September 2018 to honour the memory of Aberdeen’s International Brigaders who bravely fought fascism in Spain and on the streets of Aberdeen.
The evening started with an introduction and welcome from Tommy Campbell, Secretary of the Commemoration Committee (and Unite Industrial Organiser), to the very large attendance of friends and supporters of the International Brigade Memorial Trust.
This was followed by an over-head presentation based on research by Nina Londragan telling the story of the Aberdeen men who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.
Nina Londragan and Maureen Saunders, who are relatives of the late John Londragan and Archie Dewar, gave an excellent report on their visit to Spain and the warm welcome they received, especially as they had taken the replica of the Spanish Republican army flag (pictured above in the background) that was used as a shroud for Archie Dewar and Tom Davidson when they were buried in Spain after being killed in battle, defending the Spanish people and Spain’s democratic government against the fascists.
They were also interviewed on local Spanish TV about the story of the flag and its important part of the history between Scotland and Spain in the defence of democracy and freedom.
A poem especially written by Tommy Campbell for a forthcoming booklet on Aberdeen’s International Brigaders was read at the end of the event.
There was a successful social evening held afterwards in the Rusty Nail lounge where friends of the IBMT enjoyed some food, music and good craic.
Posted on 12 March 2019.