Manchester marks the Battle of Jarama

Post date: 14/02/2022

IBMT members Stuart Walsh and Mike Wild lead the singing of ‘The Internationale’ beside the Manchester International Brigade memorial.

Attendees assembled at Manchester Central Library, sharing tributes to the International Brigades.

The IBMT-affiliated North West International Brigade Memorial Group held its annual commemoration of the Battle of Jarama at Manchester Central Library on Saturday 12 February.

Talks, songs, poetry and images highlighted the contribution made by people from the north-west of England to the Spanish Civil War. Speakers included local IBMT activists (Hilary Jones, Lisa Croft, Stuart Walsh, Robert Hargreaves, Dominic Smith and Dolores Long), members of Marea Granate (Maroon Wave), a campaign group composed of emigrants from Spain, and UK-based members of the the PCE (Communist Party of Spain). Songs, some specially written for the occasion, were performed by Mike Wild, Edward Upward and Robbie Roberts.

The audience of about 100 was diverse with people of all ages from across the north of England (Manchester, Bolton, Wigan, Stockport, Preston, Leeds, Huddersfield, York and Stockton-on- Tees) and young Spaniards and Italians.

The Battle of Jarama claimed the lives of 14 International Brigade volunteers from the north-west: James Alwyn, Alexander Armstrong, Clement Beckett, Charles Leslie Foxall, WR Kenny, Montague Mandell, Bert Maskey, Fred Newbury and Arthur Porter, Maurice Stott, Edward Swindells, Robert Ward, Frank Whitehead and Norman Wilkinson.

The day ended with a wreath-laying ceremony at the plaque housed in the library and singing of ‘The Internationale’.

In addition to the organised programme, the day was a great opportunity for informal reconnecting, introductions and socialising. Some audience members brought old family photographs, letters and International Brigade documents with them. These looked fascinating and will no doubt prove to be great source material for further historical study and discussion.


Posted on 14 February 2022.

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