International Brigades annual commemoration 1st July

International Brigades memorial, Jubilee Gardens

There was a strong international flavour to the International Brigades Memorial Trust’s annual commemoration on 1st July at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens. This years event marked the 85th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro, July to November 1938.

International Brigades commemoration event in Jubilee Gardens. From left: Nancy Wallach from ALBA (USA), IBMT President Marlene Sidaway, and Claude Desmazure from ACER (France) © 2023 Andrew Wiard

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).

More than 200 people gathered in Jubilee Gardens for the IBMT event where there was a minutes silence, wreaths were laid and the event closed with the singing of ‘The Internationale’.

View a slideshow of photos taken by Andrew Wiard, and visit the IMBT website for more information about the International Brigades and the memorial in Jubilee Gardens.

International Brigade annual commemoration in Jubilee Gardens

Actress Liz Estensen was amongst the speakers at the International Brigade Memorial Trust’s annual commemoration in Jubilee Gardens on Saturday 2 July 2022. Liz is well known for her work as one of the “Liver Birds” as well as more recently in the long-running soap “Emmerdale”. But she is also the daughter of Otto Estensen – one of the thousands of British and Irish men and women who went to Spain 1936 to 1939 to fight fascism and defend democracy, and spoke of her pride in his contribution to the International Brigade.

Liz Estensen speaks in front of the International Brigades flag
© 2022 Andrew Wiard

Other speakers were Neil O’Riordan, son of the IBMT’s former Ireland Secretary Manus O’Riordan and grandson of Brigader Michael O’Riordan, Carmen Kilner, Secretary of the Basque Children’s Association 1937 that celebrates the British people’s response to the evacuation of nearly 4,000 Basque children to Britain after the horrific bombing of Guernica by fascist forces, and Alex Gordon, President of rail union RMT and a Trustee of the IBMT.

A range of individuals and organisations laid wreaths by the sculpture by the late Ian Walter commemorating the International Brigade, and music was provided by folk duo Na-Mara.

For more information on the International Brigade Memorial Trust and the memorial sculpture in Jubilee Gardens click here.

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