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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Spanish Civil War

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Spanish Civil War This forum is for discussion of the Spanish Civil War. , this sub-forum appears in the World War II section because Spain was both a training ground for and preview of what was about to break loose in Europe.

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  #1  
Old 28 Jul 16, 18:29
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South Walians and the Spanish Civil War

I am all but certain that my maternal grandfather left South Wales to fight in the Spanish Civil War. I have further research to do ... but it's really just a case of dotting 'i's' and crossing 'T's'.

He disappeared from my mother's life when she was a very small child, and he has been the most elusive of my ancestors to trace .. but I'm getting there.

For anyone interested in the South Walian connection ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-36786303
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  #2  
Old 29 Jul 16, 11:11
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Do you have any information on what his profession may have been prior to leaving Wales? As you have found out the Welsh were very active in their support of the Republic and there are several books written on the subject.
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Old 29 Jul 16, 11:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Do you have any information on what his profession may have been prior to leaving Wales? As you have found out the Welsh were very active in their support of the Republic and there are several books written on the subject.
He was a farm labourer in West Wales when he married my mother's mother, but he wasn't from there originally - had sort of rolled up as a casual labourer on a nearby farm. And he was definitely a 'political' beast, that I do know. My great grandmother hated him. I have been unable to find him on any census though so don't even know if his surname is real.

After marrying my grandmother and getting her up the duff - he disappeared and then would be gone for months and then turn up out of the blue for a while, before disappearing off again. Everything I was able to ascertain from (then) living relatives (sadly all now deceased), ties in with him going to Spain.

I have one photo of him - well half a photo actually on the day they got married.
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Old 29 Jul 16, 13:49
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You may find this page interesting:
Welsh Centre for International Affairs: Wise and Foolish Dreamers

It's about a project they did on the Welsh and the Spanish Civil War. Does provide some interesting sources and contacting them may help you in your search.
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Old 29 Jul 16, 20:45
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Thanks for the links! Very interesting (and helpful).
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Old 29 Jul 16, 21:01
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Interesting, did MI5 think such volunteers where threat if they returned? Seems they kept a tracking list but I wasn't able to access it, might be available in some other way.

Many more Welsh may have battled Franco than was thought, MI5 says
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wa...franco-1830059
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Old 24 Sep 16, 14:54
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Unfortunately, I have read a source that disclosed the Franco Fascist Government had the criminal heinous habit of destroying the graves of foreign fighters who gave their lives supporting the lawful Spanish Republic. These dead soldiers having to be buried in Spain for various reasons.

A touching tale disclosed in the book cited above reveals one entire Spanish rural village, still loyal to the old Republic, kept silence and cared for one solitary grave of a foreign fighter in quiet defiance of the Franco fascists till the end. Upon an old friend war buddy return years later seeking the gravesite, the villagers proudly lead him to the grave they protected all these years. Very touching story!
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Old 24 Sep 16, 15:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoHarkaman View Post
Interesting, did MI5 think such volunteers where threat if they returned? Seems they kept a tracking list but I wasn't able to access it, might be available in some other way.

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There seems to have been some sort of list. My old form master fought in the SCW and according to his account returnees in general were not welcome in Uk forces until post Barbarossa. However given that the Soviets in 1939 and 1940 were trying to influence British Trade Unions not to support the war there may have been some reason behind this.
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Old 27 Oct 16, 02:15
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Wales was well represented in the British units, most were coal miners. I'm certain the Welsh National Anthem was sung more than once in the trenches on the Madrid and Aragon fronts. Too many brave Welsh miners were killed to preserve democracy, not only for Spain but also for Wales. History has proven they did not die in vain.
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