Aberdeen’s Tommy Campbell says it in verse

Post date: 12/03/2019

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 28 September 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.



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