Fighters Against Fascism: British Heroes of the Spanish Civil War

Dan Cossins on a collection of memories from British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

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Reviewed by: Dan Cossins
Author: Max Arthur
Publisher: Collins
Price (RRP): £8.99

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“For many men it wasn’t a sense of adventure,” recalled Jack Jones, a docker from Liverpool who went to fight in the Spanish Civil War in 1937. “It was a feeling that we were on the right side – the side of justice.”

Like Jack, over 2,000 Britons were moved to volunteer with the International Brigades in the fight against Franco’s fascists.

This collection of the memories of eight volunteers offers a compelling perspective on what motivated them to risk their lives in Spain and what they experienced on the front line. Their stories are replete with idealism, camaraderie, danger, tragedy, and, above all, pride.

By capturing that defiance in their own words, these oral histories bring the contribution of a handful of passionate individuals to the Spanish Civil War vividly to life.

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Dan Cossins is a freelance journalist