mens polos A pledge to remember Oxford’s Spanish Civil War volunteers
The campaign is being led by the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT), which keeps alive the memory of the 2,500 volunteers from the UK who joined the International Brigades. Of these, 526 were killed.
The IBMT knows of 26 volunteers with links to Oxford and the surrounding area, seven of whom died in Spain.
Father of one Mr Carritt, who lives in Woodstock with wife Lesley and who is a former town mayor of Woodstock, said: “I am very much in favour of a memorial and think Bonn Square would be a good location.
“My father was a teacher at a school in Sheffield and one morning he disappeared to go to Spain.
“My uncle was driving an ambulance with a Red Cross marking on the roof when he died after fighting at Brunete.
“There are quite a few memorials in other cities, including Reading and Bristol, and some are quite grand while others are more modest. The city council has been very supportive and, in principle, has agreed to a memorial in Bonn Square.”
“It will be a reminder of the considerable impact the war in Spain had on many people from Oxford and of the extraordinary sacrifice and example set by the International Brigades.”
The IBMT hopes to organise a series of events linked to the memorial’s unveiling.
These could include an exhibition about the International Brigades, a public meeting with guest speakers, and a booklet telling the story of the Oxford volunteers.
s People can make donations to the Oxford Memorial Appeal by writing to: IBMT, 6, Stonells Road, London, SW11 6HQ.
Regarded by many historians as an important prelude to the Second World War, the Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 when army generals rebelled against the elected government of the Spanish Republic.
General Franco declared victory for the rebels 75 years ago on April 1, 1939, and remained Spain’s dictator until his death in 1975.
The volunteers fought Franco, Hitler and Mussolini on the battlefields of Spain, warning that appeasement of European fascism would lead to another world war.
ROLL OF HONOUR
THE International Brigade Memorial Trust’s list of volunteers from Oxford:
John Birrell Engine driver. Lived at 13 Paradise Square, Oxford. Arrived in Spain in December 1936. Saw action at Lopera and Jarama. Returned home June 1937.
Jim Brewer South Wales miner. Studied at Ruskin College, Oxford. Left for Spain in 1937. Quartermaster with the British Anti Tank Battery. Returned with the rest of the British Battalion in December 1938.
Edward Burke Actor (real name Edmund Cooper). Lived at The Grange, Dunston;
also in London. Went to Spain in October 1936 and joined the Commune de Paris Battalion. Saw action in and around Madrid and at Lopera, where he was wounded and died in hospital on February 12, 1937.
Anthony Carritt Farm manager, Boars Hill. Arrived in Spain with British Medical Unit in April 1937. Served as ambulance driver. Badly wounded at Brunete in July 1937 and died in hospital on or soon after July 13, 1937.
Noel Carritt, above From Boars Hill. Attended Oriel College, Oxford. Worked as a teacher in Sheffield. Arrived in Spain in December 1936. Wounded with British Battalion at Jarama in February 1937. Served as a medic during the Battle of Brunete and later at Valdegana Hospital. Returned home in November 1937.
Victor Claridge Builder’s labourer of 4 James Street, Oxford. Arrived in Spain by early January 1937. Wounded while fighting with the British Battalion at Jarama in February 1937. He was also at Brunete in July, but was taken out of the line due to severe illness. Repatriated in October 1937.
Nathan Clark From Street, Somerset, location of family firm, Clark Shoes. Was undergraduate at Queen’s College, Oxford, but after two years went to Spain to serve as an ambulance driver. Left England in May 1937 and returned in September 1938. Was head of transport at the International Brigade hospital at Huete. Later designed the Desert Boot for Clark Shoes.
Lewis Clive From London. Went to Christ Church College, Oxford, was a rowing blue in 1930 31 and won a gold medal in rowing in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Was a Labour councillor in Kensington Chelsea. Arrived in Spain in February 1938. Commander of No.2 Company of the British Battalion. Killed at Gandesa between July 28 August 1, 1938, in the Battle of the Ebro.
Dorothy Collier Surgeon. Studied in Oxford before graduating at University College Hospital, London, in 1922. Travelled to Barcelona in 1938. Worked at San Pablo Hospital with renowned Catalan surgeon Josep Trueta, and was instrumental in arranging his subsequent exile in Oxford, where he was part of the team that developed penicillin as an antibiotic.
Francis Dewhurst Musician and composer, living in Dulwich, south London. Had lived and studied in Oxford. Arrived in Spain in January 1937. Injured with British Battalion at the Battle of Jarama the following month. Killed on July 11, 1937,
in the Battle of Brunete.