Opening of Newhaven Fort exhibition

Post date: 24/04/2014

IBMT members are invited to attend the opening of a permanent exhibition about the International Brigades at Newhaven Fort [Fort Road, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DS] on Wednesday 28 May 2014. 


The programme begins at 12 noon. All those wishing to attend must notify the IBMT in advance in order to waive the normal £6 fee to visit Newhaven Fort. To do so, either email [] or text 07896 335 496, giving the names of the IBMT members who will be attending. This must be done by Friday 23 May.


Newhaven Fort is about 1 mile from Newhaven Town railway station (regular trains from London Victoria, changing at Lewes).


The centrepiece of the IBMT’s exhibition at Newhaven Fort will be the original British Battalion banner that was brought back from Spain in December 1938. This is the battalion’s oldest surviving banner. 


Other features include the Antifascistas exhibition that tells the story of the volunteers from the British Isles, plus a display describing the impact on Sussex of the Spanish Civil War.


A video monitor will show Ivor Montagu’s 1938 film of the return – via Newhaven – of the British Battalion, plus contemporary footage of a parade in Brighton in honour of local International Brigaders. The soundtrack consists of recordings of Billy Bragg singing “Jarama Valley” and Maxine Peake reciting the famous farewell speech to the International Brigades given by Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria).


Open from March to November, Newhaven Fort [] is a popular Second World War visitors’ centre on the cliffs above Newhaven. It is also visited each year by nearly 10,000 schoolchildren.


After the Spanish Civil War, the historic banner that will go on permanent display at Newhaven was carried by International Brigade veterans at anti-Franco demonstrations in Britain. More recently it was displayed at the funerals of International Brigaders, where it was proudly draped over their coffins.


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