IBMT member Lyn Hurst reports on the unveiling on 30 March of a new memorial plaque in Leicester…
There were about 120 people at the unveiling. They saw IBMT President Marlene Sidaway unveil the new memorial in Leicester’s Market Place (pictured below). As well as speakers there was music from the Leicester Red Choir and singer Tony Dance backed by Juan Álvarez. Marlene also read the poem by International Brigader Aileen Palmer ‘The Dead Have No Regrets’.
The new memorial stone is brilliant. It has a quotation from Jack Jones (former Life President of the IBMT) and names the three Leicester men who died in Spain: Fred Sykes, Roy Watts and Jack Watson.
Market Place is significant because Fred Sykes was arrested there when campaigning against the attack on democracy in Spain, for ‘shouting and behaving in a disorderly way’. The case was later dismissed. After he was killed in Spain, his comrades assembled in the market to remember him and pay tribute to his sacrifice.
By placing a lasting memorial to these three men in the market, we are reminding the citizens of Leicester that we all need to be vigilant against fascism and remember the sacrifice made by the International Brigades.
Comrades came from far and wide for the event, all said how much they enjoyed it. The Market Place ceremony was followed by food and music at Duffy’s Bar until the early hours – the whole day was a great success.
Posted on 31 March 2018.