Alicante and Cardiff commemorate a Welsh hero

Post date: 13/04/2015

Press release from Labour International

12 April 2015  


Labour International Costa Blanca Branch arranged for a delegation of 19 Spanish members of the Alicante Civic Commission for the Recovery of Historical Memory to visit Cardiff on 11 and 12 April to present a memorial plaque to the city at a ceremony hosted by the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Cardiff Councillor Margaret Jones.


The plaque, dedicated to the memory of Cardiff-born Captain Archibald Dickson and the crew of the Stanbrook, which rescued nearly 3,000 Spanish Republican supporters from Alicante port and Franco's troops at the end of the Spanish Civil War on 28 March 1939, was jointly unveiled by Pedro Olivares Martínez and the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House in Cardiff on 12 April.


Also present at the unveiling were Arnold Dickson and Dorothy Richardson (children of Capt Dickson) and David Lillystone and Sandra Robinson (great grandchildren of the ship's engineer, Henry Lillystone), six members of Labour International Costa Blanca and members of the Welsh section of the International Brigade Memorial Trust.  


The stainless steel plaque depicts an image of the Stanbrook in Alicante port taken at the time, together with an inscription in English, Spanish and Welsh.


Following the ceremony, the delegation and invited guests assembled at the Welsh headquarters of Unite the Union in the city where there was a showing of a short film (see note 2) about the British blockade runners during the civil war. Francisco Moreno Sáez, an historian from the Civic Comission, described their work in preserving the memory of those who suffered under the repression of the fascist Franco regime.


On Saturday the delegation placed a wreath on the memorial in Cathays Park, Cardiff, to the Welsh members of the International Brigades who fought and died fighting for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.





The Costa Blanca Branch of Labour International is a fully constituted part of the British Labour Party which operates in this region.


The Comisión Civica de Alicante para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica was set up following the passing of the law of historical memory (Ley de Memoria Histórica) in 2007  under the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. See


2. The short film "Britain Expects" was produced by the merchant seamen and officers trades unions as part of a lobbying process to get the British government, under the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, to instruct the Royal Navy to defend cargo ships which were legitimately delivering supplies to the Republican government in Spain as they were being attacked and, in some cases, sunk by Franco's German and Italian allies. However, as this was during the period of appeasement the film was embargoed and never shown in Britain. This was one of the first showings since it was unearthed from the BFI archives by the International Brigade Memorial Trust.


Here's a link to a musical slideshow of the trip put together by Vicente Carrasco:




1. The Spanish delegation outside the Mansion House in Cardiff - the official residence of the Lord Mayor.

2. Pedro Olivares Martínez and the Lord Mayor after unveiling the plaque.

3. Holding the memorial plaque from left to right - the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Margaret Jones; Pedro Olivares Martínez and Arnold Dickson.

 4. The Spanish delegation at the International Brigades memorial in Cathays Park, Cardiff.


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