Their spirit and convictions undiminished by age, British veterans of the Spanish Civil War were honoured this weekend at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the epic conflict. The International Brigades fought for the Republican side against fascism. And though General Francisco Franco won the 1936-39 war, the deaths of their colleagues was not vain and the eventual return of democracy in Spain had made it all worthwhile, speakers said. The event took place at the International Brigade Memorial in a park by the River Thames in London. Relatives and supporters of veterans raised one-fisted salutes, laid wreaths and sang songs of solidarity. The guests of honour were David Lomon and Thomas Watters, two of only four known British volunteers still living. “I was Jewish, I was an anti-fascist. Hitler and Mussolini were all over Europe. Mosley was stirring up trouble in London. I had to do something,” said Lomon, now aged 93, of his decision to join the International Brigades. The war broke out on July 18, 1936, with a military uprising against the reformist Republican government. Franco was supported by Hitler and Mussolini. Russia aided the Republicans but Britain and other powers followed a non-intervention policy.
via reuters: Veterans of Spain’s Civil War honoured