The annual Len Crome memorial lecture series

The annual Len Crome memorial lectures and conferences are held in memory of Dr Len Crome.

Len Crome went to Spain with the Scottish Ambulance Unit in December 1936, before joining the International Brigades in March 1937. He eventually became the Chief Medical Officer for the Spanish Republic's 35th Division, a role he performed with great competance and imagination. By placing mobile hospitals as near to the front as possible, Len probably provided his patients with better treatment than they would have received in famous London teaching hospitals. A full obituary for Len Crome, originally published in the Independent, can be found here.

From 2002 to 2012, the lectures were given by leading historians in their fields at London's Imperial War Museum. The initial nine are available in a collected volume, Looking Back at the Spanish Civil War, published by Lawrence & Wishart in 2010 (edited by Jim Jump).

2002Angela JacksonBeyond the Battlefield: A cave Hospital in the Spanish Civil War
2003Helen GrahamThe Return of Republican Memory
2004Richard BaxellWriter of Fighter? Laurie Lee and the International Brigades
2005Paul PrestonThe Crimes of Franco
2006Enrique MoradiellosAlbion’s Perfidy: The British Government and the Spanish Civil War
2007Julián CasanovaThe Spanish Civil War: History and Memory
2008Ángel ViñasSeptember 1936: Stalin’s Decision to Support the Spanish Republic
2009Francisco J Romero SalvadóKilling the Dream: The Spanish Labyrinth Revisited, 1898-1939
2010Richard BaxellThree Months in Spain: The British Battalion at Madrigueras and Jarama from January to March 1937
2011Linda Palfreeman¡Salud! The British Contribution to the Republican Medical Service during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
2012Peter CarrollFrom Guernica to Human Rights: The Spanish Civil War in the 21st Century

In 2013 the memorial event took on a new format in a new home: the Manchester Conference Centre for five years. The invidual lectures were replaced by a day of talks and discussions, but still involving contributions by leading academics from around the world. In 2018 the conference was held in Bristol’s Colston Hall and in 2019 the venue was Kellogg College, Oxford. There was no conference in 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 event was held online.

2013'Homage to Catalonia' 75 years on  
Richard Baxell: George Orwell and the British Battalion; Paul Preston*: George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War; Tom Buchanan: 'Homage to Catalonia': its reception and impact; Chris Hall: Not Just Orwell: the Independent Labour Party Volunteers  
* Paul Preston was unwell, but his paper was delivered by IBMT Secretary Jim Jump 
2014Taking Sides: Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War  
Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom: Republican Education and the Arts; Carmen Herrero: Representation of the International Brigades in Spanish Cinema; Jane Rogoyska: Gerda Taro and Robert Capa: Photographing War; Valentine Cunningham: Aestheticising Tragedy  
2015Guernica: the destruction of a town and  the creation of a masterpiece  
Nick Rankin: Making History: George L Steer and the Tree of Gernika; Gijs van Hensbergen: The Birth of Guernica; Xabier Irujo: The Terror Bombing of Guernica; Manuel Moreno: The Basque Children and the Aid to Spain Movement  
2016Women and the Spanish Civil War
Paul Preston: Pasionaria of steel: the life of Dolores Ibárruri; Helen Graham: Wars of development: Margaret Michaelis’ images of 1930s Barcelona; Sylvia Martin: Aileen Palmer and the British Medical Unit; Linda Palfreeman: Fernanda Jacobsen: Samaritan or spy?  
2017Liberty's Volunteers: the timeless legacy of the Spanish Civil War
Richard Baxell: Britons in Spain: Internationalism & National Identity in the International Brgades; Giles Tremlett: The Political Legacy of Francoism  
2018Aid Spain: the molbilisation of support in Britain during the Spanish Civil War
Emily Mason: No Faith In Fascism: The Christian Left and the Aid Spain Movement; Tom Buchanan: Looking Back at Jim Fyrth’s 'The Signal Was Spain'  
2019Football and the Spanish Civil War
Daniel Gray, Sid Lowe
2021Was the Spanish Republic worth dying for?
Helen Graham Paul Preston Richard Baxell (chair)
2022Scotland and the Spanish Civil War  
Fraser Raeburn, Máximo Molina, Mike Arnott

In 2023 the IBMT decided to make the Len Crome Memorial Conference an annual online event.

2023: Spain in the European civil war: a conversation between Helen Graham, Paul Preston and Richard Baxell (chair).

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