On 12 November 2011, Wembley Stadium hosted a friendly between the football teams of England and Spain. Amongst the usual pre-match shots of flags and anthem singing, the television cameras picked out one English fan in the crowd with a home-made placard commemorating the British volunteers of the International Brigade, who had fought for the Spanish Republic 75 years earlier. The incident was an example of how the Spanish Civil War has maintained its place in the British popular consciousness in a way that is perhaps only exceeded by the two world wars.
In recent years it has been the subject of popular history books and formed the backdrop to best-selling novels and an HBO made/Sky broadcast television series starring Nicole Kidman; meanwhile the often bitter debates between supporters of different Republican factions in 1936-39 continue to be played out on internet message boards. Despite this public and academic interest, only a small quantity of primary sources in English were freely available to researchers online – last year the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, added over 13,000 pages more.
To provide different (although still pro-Republican) opinions on the war, over 100 pamphlets and journals from the archive collections of political activists were also put online. Many of these reflect the Trotskyist view of the conflict– similar to that of George Orwell in ‘Homage to Catalonia’. These include publications from Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM), in both English and Spanish, and English language material from anarchist groups, including CNT-FAI. Pamphlets and speakers’ notes from the Communist Party of Great Britain are also included.
Bit of a misuse of “Trostkyist” there, imho, but still…
15/3/8/253/3ii Spain and the World. Vol. 1, no. 14 (supplement) / 11 June 1937 / Publications from the archive of Henry Sara and Frank Maitland
206/3/5/4/1 Independent news. Special issue: the P.O.U.M. trial in Barcelona / 1938 / Publications from the archive of Hugo Dewar
206/3/5/8/1 Juventud Obrera. Year 1, no. 11 / October 1937 / Publications from the archive of Hugo Dewar
292/946/24/3 Cablegram 18 October 1938 / Archives of the Trades Union Congress
206/3/5/8/2 Juventud Obrera. Year 1, no. 12 October 1937 Publications from the archive of Hugo Dewar
15X/2/536/6 The truth about the Barcelona events / by Lambda ; introduction by Bertram D. Wolfe 1937 / Maitland – Sara – Hallinan collection
292/946/24/2 Cablegram (copy) / 18 October 1938 / Archives of the Trades Union Congress
292/946/24/4 Special information meeting about the P.O.U.M. trial (invitation) 1938 / Archives of the Trades Union Congress
- The Photo of an Unknown War (iconicphotos.wordpress.com)
- Motherwell memorial to Scots who fought in Spanish Civil War (news.stv.tv)
- Monklands News: Tribute to Spanish Civil War volunteers (acadvertiser.co.uk)