Special event to mark 85th anniversary of Fifers joining International Brigade to fight Franco's facism

A special event is being planned for a landmark anniversary which remembers the Fifers who went to Spain to fight against General Franco’s rebellion which was backed by Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.
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They joined the International Brigade to fight against facism, and the 85th anniversary of its disbanding will be marked by an event at the KUSI Club in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, December 9, organised by Fife Trade Union Council. It will feature speakers, music and refreshments.

The group organsies the annual autumn tribute to the men who joined up to support the democratically elected Spanish Government in its fight against the rebellion led by General Franco - their names are preserved on a memorial in Forth Avenue in the town.

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In July 1936 General Franco started a rebellion against the Spanish government, and immediately, volunteers from across the world signed up, including over 40 men from Fife who joined the International Brigade. Many returned, but some died in Spain.

Fife Free Press coverage of the International Brigade in 1938 (Pic: Fife Free Press)Fife Free Press coverage of the International Brigade in 1938 (Pic: Fife Free Press)
Fife Free Press coverage of the International Brigade in 1938 (Pic: Fife Free Press)

Ian Waddell on behalf of Fife TUC said: “Eighty five years ago, in the autumn of 1938, the International Brigade was disbanded by the Spanish Republican Government. They thought that this move would encourage other governments, especially Britain and France, to oppose intervention in Spain by Germany and Italy. In this they were, of course, wrong and those governments did nothing about the German and Italian intervention.

“Following this, the British Brigaders returned home and were welcomed as they progressed on their way with large rallies. After being greeted first in London, then Glasgow, the Fife Brigaders were welcomed by hundreds of people on their arrival at Kirkcaldy station on Monday, December 12 1938. As reported in the Fife Free Press, this was followed by a crowded rally in the Beveridge Hall - now the Adam Smith Theatre. There were a number of speakers, including Kirkcaldy Brigader, Tommy Bloomfield, whose memories of his time in Spain have been recorded in a few publications.”

The event on December 9 gets underway at 11:00am