New history of the Hampshire Brigaders

Post date: 01/08/2022

IBMT Trustee Alan Lloyd introduces his upcoming history of International Brigaders connected to Hampshire. It will be published by the Clapton Press in September and is available for pre-order here.

Thanks to Simon Deefholts at the Clapton Press, my long promised book about International Brigaders connected to Hampshire will be released on 15 September.

The idea for this book came about 15 years ago when I bought a copy of Bill Rust’s book, ‘Britons in Spain’. Despite a lifetime’s interest in history, and being involved in the trade union and labour movement, it came as a surprise to find the Roll of Honour at the back of the book contained the names of Brigaders from my home city of Southampton. I determined then to research and write about their whole lives, in order to ensure they received the recognition they deserved.

Little did I know then that my original list of five would mushroom over time to around 40; made up of British Brigaders, one Canadian Mac-Pap, one ILP fighter, one doctor, two nurses, and four pilots, all with a connection to Hampshire or the Isle of Wight. I have also included chapters on the arrival of the Habana and the founding of the original ‘Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain’ (now ‘Plan International’), and one detailing the efforts to support the Spanish Republican government which took place across Hampshire at the time.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those relatives, friends, librarians, archivists and others who have been so kind and helpful in receiving and responding to my endless enquiries over the years. Readers of the book will see that there are still gaps in the lives of a couple of the Brigaders, and I continue to welcome information which will complete the story. However, it was time to temporarily draw a line and dispel the anonymity which has cloaked most of the names until now. I hope readers will be inspired by their stories, despite the number of individual tragedies, and continue to recognise the justice of their fight, and the need for us to continue it. Heroes one and all.

Thank you all for your help, time and patience. In the event any proceeds from the book are due to me they will go directly to the International Brigade Memorial Trust, to assist them in their work to preserve the memory of those who fought in Spain and to constantly remind us why they went. If you are not already a member please do consider joining us here.

Posted on 1 August 2022.

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