London SE1 community website

Spanish Civil War’s British volunteers honoured at Jubilee Gardens memorial

London SE1 website team

British volunteers who fought for the republican side against General Franco's nationalists in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 were remembered at the annual commemoration on the South Bank on Saturday.

Ambassador Ramón Gandarias
Ambassador Ramón Gandarias
Spanish Civil War’s British volunteers honoured at Jubilee Gardens memorial
Spanish Civil War’s British volunteers honoured at Jubilee Gardens memorial

For the first time since the International Brigades Memorial Trust started to hold the annual ceremonies at the memorial close to County Hall, no veterans of the conflict were in attendance.

The memorial consists of a bronze sculpture by Ian Walters which was unveiled in Jubilee Gardens in 1985.

The gathering included many children and grandchildren of the 2000+ Britons who felt compelled to travel to Spain to fight against fascism. More than 500 died in the war.

The main speaker this year was Miquel Caminal, director of Memorial Democràtic, the branch of the Catalan government that protects and researches the history of the brutal conflict which shaped Spain's 20th century history.

Caminal used his speech to condemn the criminal accusations against noted Spanish judge Baltasar Garzn who is accused by right-wing organisations of abusing his powers by opening an inquiry into crimes committed during Francisco Franco's rule.

"Justice is back to front," said Caminal.

The deputy head of the Spanish mission to London, Ambassador Ramn Gandarias, also took part in the event and laid a wreath at the memorial.

Songs, including 'Jarama' recalling the 1937 battle along that river in Spain, were sung and a silence was observed in honour of those who died in the conflict.


Listen to audio
The SE1 website is supported by people like you
This article on a map
Map
Related forum discussions
Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

Archive
News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.