Ron Barber's rescue from the Ciudad de Barcelona

Post date: 10/08/2016

Winifred Wheable-Archer, a long-standing member and supporter of the IBMT, was married at one time to Ron Barber, who was one of the volunteers on the Ciudad de Barcelona when it sank. The ship was torpedoed by an Italian submarine off the coast of Malgrat de Mar, north of Barcelona on 30 May 1937.


Ron was rescued by a black man, who was clinging to a pice of wood, and who said something like "Here mate, grab onto this".


For a long time Winifred has been trying to find out who this man was, and only a few weeks ago she received a phone call from someone who said he had found out the rescuer’s name. 


The caller was very excited about the find, but didn't give Winifred his name and contact details. Now she wants to find him. 


Winifred is 96, and still very sharp and with it. She lives in Huddersfield, but was in Manchester for much of her early life, where she knew several International Brigade volunteers.


When it was sunk, the Ciudad de Barcelona was taking between 200 and 250 volunteers from Marseilles to Spain. Up to 65 of them are estimated to have drowned.

If you think you can help Winifred, contact

Posted 9 August 2016

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