Our 2023 annual commemoration

Post date: 02/07/2023

Here is a slideshow of photos taken by Andrew Wiard at the IBMT's annual commemoration on Saturday 1 July at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank.

This year's guest speakers included Nancy Wallach, daughter of Lincoln Brigader Hy Wallach and board member of the New York-based Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), and Claude Desmazure, representative of the Paris-based ACER (Les Amis des Combattants en Espagne Républicaine).

Wallach spoke about the values epitomised by the Lincolns and other International Brigade volunteers. Quoting a tribute to the American volunteers by film director John Sayles, she said their values ran counter to today's cynical view that people are only motivated by self-interest and greed.

From left: Nancy Wallach from ALBA and Claude Desmazure from ACER. Photo Andrew Wiard.

Professor Peter Crome spoke about the role of the medical staff during he Battle of the Ebro, whose anniversary falls this year. Peter is an IBMT Patron and the son of Dr Len Crome, who was head of the International Brigades medical services.

He noted that during the Battle of the Ebro, particularly at the field hospital in a large cave near La Bisbal de Falset, considerable advances were made in battlefield medicine. This applied to wound care and the prevention of gas gangrene and to blood transfusions. Stretchers were also redesigned for flexible usage and triaging improved.

As a result, many lives were saved. But, sadly, lessons learnt in Spain were not applied initially in the Second World War, though they were by the end of the war.

The other speakers at Jubilee Gardens were IBMT Secretary Megan Dobney, IBMT President Marlene Sidaway and IBMT Chair Jim Jump.

Thanking the foreign speakers for their contributions, Jim Jump said they had reminded everyone that the volunteers who went Spain had joined the International Brigades.

He added: 'Their solidarity, their anti-fascism and their values knew no frontiers, whether they were from the US, France, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ethiopia, India, China or wherever.'

Music was provided by Na-Mara. There was a minute's silence and a rendition of 'Jarama Valley' after wreaths had been laid – and the event finished with the singing of ‘The Internationale’.

Peter Crome. Photo: Andrew Wiard.

Singing 'The Internationale'. Photo: Andrew Wiard.

IBMT logo

Support our work

You can support the IBMT by joining us or affiliating your union branch – see details and membership forms here:
menuchevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram