SPANISH CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL
Civil War - Detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © Dundee Trades Union Council 2005
memorial contains the name of sixteen volunteers who died during the
Spanish Civill War 1936-1939, all members of the British Battalion.
The bronze plaque, located in a small garden area to the east of McManus
Galleries in Albert Square, was unveiled on 23rd February 1975 in a
ceremony led by Dundee International Brigade veteran Arthur Nicoll.
It bears the names of the 16 Dundonians who died during the Spanish
bears an inscription from the Russian writer Nikolai Ostrovsky: "Man's
dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must
live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never
know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying,
he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest
cause in all the world - the fight for the liberation of mankind."
This quote has been attributed to both his play "The Storm"
of 1860 and to another of his works "How the Steel was Tempered".
on the plaque lists John McHugh instead of his brother James, who
was killed in the Battle of Gandesa in March 1938.
another Dundee veteran who was at the unveiling, claimed in Ian Macdougall's
book "Voices from the Spanish Civil War" that there were
17 Dundonians who died in Spain, but we don't know who the other person
of the unveiling appeared in the Dundee Courier on 24th February 1975.
It was a Civic ceremony, but was boycotted by the "Unionist and
Progressive" group on the Council.
details about British
Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
Spansih Civil War Memorial - Dundee Memorial unveiling
Copyright © Dundee Trades Union Council 2005
July 16th 1937 at Brunete. 13 Benvie Road, Dundee. Railway Labourer
with LNER. Left Dundee in May 1937. Single. Obituary in Dundee
Courier; Sept 6th 1937.
Jan 12th 1937 at Las Rozas: Born Dundee, 1911. Living in London,
working as a Gas Fitter, when he enlisted. Arrived in Spain on
Dec 3rd 1936. Fought with the Saklatvalas (the first British unit
formed in the civil war. Named after Shapurji Saklatvala, born
in India and one of Britain’s first Communist Party members to
become an MP in 1922) in the No 1 Company of the XIV Brigade at
Lopera. Died, reportedly from wounds received on December 28th
1936, helping to prevent the Fascists from encircling Madrid.
Recorded as from London on the main British Brigade website.
March 1938 at Aragon.
March 1938 at Belchite.
August 1937 at Quinto.
1937 at 30 Todburn Lane, off King Street, Dundee. Family lived
at 28 Milton Street. Juvenile Footballer with Dundee team Derby
United, then a Junior with Osborne and Downfield. Timber Yard
Worker with Bell & Sime Ltd and a Young Communist League member,
his name appeared in a list of those killed in Spain in the Daily
Worker in the Spring of 1937. However this was revised in the
same paper of Sept 3rd 1937, page 3, stating that the names of
John McEwan and James Donald (Methil) had been listed as killed
in error and that both were alive. Last words to his mother were;
“If I don’t go and fight Fascism, I’ll just have to wait and fight
it here”. Obituary appeared in Dundee Courier; August 20th 1937
(with photo), conflicting with the report of his being alive printed
two weeks later in the Daily Worker.
February 28th 1937 at Jarama. Left Dundee for Spain in January
1937 with Tom Clarke. YCL member. One of 3 Dundee brigaders
honoured at a memorial meeting in the Foresters Hall on April
4th 1937 (along with Stalker and Tadden), reported in the Dundee
Courier the following day.
McGuire's death is recorded in the minute of the March 1937
Executive Committee meeting of Dundee Trades & Labour Council,
proposing a minute silence be held at the next full Trades &
Labour Council meeting, and that a letter of sympathy and condolence
be sent to his mother. At the full Council, the minute silence
is observed and the letter read to the delegates. This recognition
is not shown to Stalker and Tadden, the other two Dundonians
who were killed shortly before McGuire, implying that McGuire
had a close relationship with Dundee T&LC, possibly as a
March 1938 at Gandesa. The plaque lists him mistakenly as John
April 1937 at Jarama. 17 North Wellington Street, Dundee. Age
36. Unemployed. His wife of 7 years said he left for Spain on
New Years Day 1937. Obituary in Dundee Courier; May 7th 1937.
March 1938 at Caspe.
March 1938 at Caspe.
July 26th 1938, Ebro. 11 Robertson Street, Dundee. Age 33. Unemployed,
single. Attended Glebelands School and served his apprenticeship
as a mechanic at Larchfield Works, Walton Street (James Prain
& Sons Ltd). Left for Spain in October 1937.Obituary (with photo)
in Dundee Courier; August 27th 1938.
July 1937 at Brunete. Imperial War Museum document 'Lists of the
Dead' dated August 8th 1937, Box 21/B/3L gives his address as
c/o Lindsay, 116 Rosebank Street, Dundee.
August 19th 1938, Sierra Pandols. 157 South Road, Dundee. 27
years old. Pupil at Liff Road School. Baker who served his time
with Martin Simpson of 141 Princes Street. Left for Spain on
Sept 23rd 1937. Quote from Ian MacDougall's 'Voices from
the Spanish Civil War' (Polygon, ISBN 0 948275 19 7), page
318; Tom Murray's memoir;
was a nasty situation. Well, I got up and here I found George
Jackson lying stretched out. George came from Cowdenbeath and
I think he was one of the recruits that I got to go with me
when I went out there. Charlie McLeod of Aberdeen was lying
with his head on George Jackson's chest. And Malcolm Smith of
Dundee was lying about a yard or so away. All were dead by the
blast of this anti-tank shell. This event took place either
on Hill 481 or Hill 666, Sierra Pandols above the Ebro River.
Obituary (with photo) in Dundee Courier on Aug 27th 1938, but
giving date killed as July 26th 1938."
Feb 12th 1937, Jarama. Was born in Dundee, son of Professor
A. M. Stalker. Attended Dundee High School. Age 40 on enlisting
in the Brigades in December 1936. He was an Engineer and Draughtsman
who attended University College, London from where he went to
Spain. He lived in the Balham/Putney area of London and is recorded
as from London on the main British Brigade website. He was a
member of the Associated Engineers & Shipbuilding Union. He
served in the Army in the Great War and had worked in the Far
East & India. Member of the CPGB. Went into action at Lopera
in late December 1936 with the No 1 Company (Anglo /Irish) of
the French XIV Brigade and later in January at Las Rozas. Returned
to Albacete and joined up with the British Battalion of the
to Jarama on Feb 12th 1937 as Political Commissar. Took command
of the No 3 Company when its Commander Bill Briskey was killed.
Kit Conway was another commander whose heroism at Jarama has
been widely acknowledged. Following the deaths of some of his
fellow officers, he commanded three separate companies at a
particularly crucial juncture on February 12th 1937. It was
on this day, soon after 12 noon, that he was fatally wounded.
One of his comrades, James Prendergast, described his passing:
reach the hill-crest where Kit is directing fire. He is using
a rifle himself and pausing every while to give instructions.
Suddenly he shouts, his rifle spins out of his hand, and he
falls back. He is placed on a blanket. No stretchers left now.
His voice is broken with agony. 'Do your best boys, hold on.'
Tears glisten in our eyes. Many are from other companies. But
all remember Kit at Cordoba and Madrid. His gallant leadership
then and today won them all. Kit is taken away. I see Ken Stalker.
He is the only experienced man left. I run to him and he takes
command. In the ambulance I meet Kit. He is in terrible agony
and can talk little. 'How are the rest?' is his constant question.
Next morning they told me our great leader was dead. Ken Stalker
was killed soon afterwards, shot in the head later the same
day, defending the Madrid-Valencia road."
Obituary in Dundee Courier; March 10th 1937. One of 3 Dundee
brigaders honoured at a memorial meeting in the Foresters Hall
on April 4th 1937, reported in the Dundee Courier the following
in some sources as William John TADDEN] Died Feb 27th 1937 at
Jarama. Resident of 38 Elizabeth Street, Dundee. Aged 36. Served
for 7 years in 1st Battalion, Black Watch including in India.
Unemployed when he left for Spain. Obituary (with photo) in Dundee
Courier; March 19th 1937. One of 3 Dundee brigaders honoured at
a memorial meeting in the Foresters Hall on April 4th 1937, reported
in the Dundee Courier the following day. Brother of William, Donald
and Walter and Mary.
31 October, 2019