Tribute to Spanish Civil War unveiled

A plaque to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War and act as a tribute to those from Merseyside who supported the anti-fascist cause is to be unveiled at Liverpool Town Hall.

On Monday (19 December), Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, will officially reveal the plaque, the installation of which received cross-party support at a Full Council meeting in March.

The new addition to the ground floor of the Town Hall acknowledges the role of the Liverpool activists including:

  • The Merseyside Spanish Aid Committee who took donations on the docks and factories
  • Merseyside Left Theatre who staged plays about Spain, organising counter demonstrations against Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (‘Madrid today, Merseyside tomorrow’)
  • Local firms like Crawford’s, Bibby’s and Lever Brothers who donated and shipped significant amounts of money and food

It also recognises the estimated 200 Merseysiders who voluntarily travelled to Spain to fight in the International Brigades, with at least 30 of them losing their lives. They were all working class men aged between 17 and 60.

The inscription will read:

“To mark the 80th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (Guerra Civil).

Plaque instated on 19th December 2016 by Liverpool City Council, in recognition of the heroic Merseysiders who stood up to fascism through their part in the Spanish Civil War.

Of particular note are those who, despite a ban by the British Government, took part in the International Brigades. Some of whom never returned.

Their contribution and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Councillor Kennedy said: “The Spanish Civil War was an incredibly brutal chapter of history and it’s overwhelming to think that ordinary, working class men from Merseyside wanted to make a stand against General Franco.

“For many of our local heroes it was a mission they had to undertake in secret, and it’s sad to think that nearly a quarter of them lost their lives fighting for what they believe in.

“I’m am extremely proud to be unveiling this plaque on behalf of the city and it can be a constant reminder of the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.”