Gardens Hold Annual Ceremony
Hundreds gathered at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens on Saturday I July to remember the 2,500 volunteers from Britain and Ireland who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War.
They heard speeches from Len McCluskey, General Secreray of Unite, and Tosh MacDonald, President of ASLEF, who both praised the inspirational example of international solidarity set 80 years ago by the International Brigades.
Another moving contribution came from Herminio Martinez. Aged 7, he was one of the nearly 4,000 child refugees who arrived in Southampton in May 1937 to escape Hitler’s terror bombing of Guernica and other towns and cities in Spain’s Basque Country.
He thanked the British people who had cared for the refugee children, while noting that the Conservative government had only reluctantly let them enter the country and on condition that no public assistance or funding would be provided.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial for the more than 500 who died in Spain and a minute’s silence was observed by the estimated 350 people present.
Music was provided by Maddy Carty and Na-mara, who led the singing of 'Valley of Jarama', known as the song of the British Battalion.