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Charity number 1094928

The volunteers

Enter any search term and click 'Apply' to see the results. For example, enter 'Jarama' in 'Where killed' to see all volunteers killed at Jarama. You may use more than one search term at a time. For example, Enter 'Jarama' in 'Where killed' and 'London' in 'Place of birth' to see all Londoners killed at Jarama.

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The database

Between 1996 and 2016, IBMT archivist Jim Carmody and historian Richard Baxell worked on putting together an annotated list of all the British and Irish volunteers for the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. The list drew upon a wide range of sources held in Britain, Spain and Russia, though principally those held in the International Brigade Archive in the Marx Memorial Library in London (IBA) and the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History in Moscow (RGASPI).
 
The searchable list above gives a brief summary of each of the nearly 2,400 individuals for whom there are records. In time more information will be placed online. Hopefully, until then, this will be a useful starting point for relatives, students and researchers. This database has been placed online with generous financial support from Unite SE/6239 Branch.
 
If you have any comments or additional information about any of the individuals listed here, contact the IBMT by clicking this link.
 
NB: The records include assessments of the volunteers made by their political superiors in the latter part of the war in Spain. Many are derogatory, referring to desertion, drunkenness and indiscipline, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. They were written for internal use, primarily as an assessment of suitability for future membership of the Communist Party at home. Many volunteers with outstanding military records in Spain – including senior ranking officers – nevertheless received extremely critical assessments.


Can’t find what you’re looking for?

If the name you are searching doesn’t appear on our database, there could be a number of explanations…
 
1/ The records kept in Spain were not always accurate. It could be that the name you are looking for was misspelt at the time. You could therefore try alternative spellings.
 
2/ The person in question may have travelled to France and Spain with the intention of joining the International Brigades but was arrested and repatriated by French police; or they were rejected by the International Brigades on medical grounds and returned home; or they changed their mind at the last minute and decided not to enlist. If you think any of these possibilities may apply, you could consult the list of some 4,000 names compiled by Special Branch, who were monitoring ferry ports for suspects travelling to Spain. The list is held at the National Archives in Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk). None of these records is online, so you will have to go to Kew in person or pay to get digital copies.
 
3/ The person may have used a false name in Spain. Several volunteers did so. If this is the case, you will have to use other fields for your search, or find out from other sources what the alias may have been.
 
4/ The person you are looking for may have enlisted in a different battalion. Our records centre on those who served in the British Battalion. However, several British and Irish or British and Irish-born volunteers served in, for example, the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion or the Canadian Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. Others fought in French and German units or even in Spanish Republican forces. To search for such individuals we recommend you consult the databases of American and Canadian volunteers (www.alba-valb.org/volunteers and https://spanishcivilwar.ca/volunteers/browse). Additionally, you can consult the database of all International Brigade volunteers being compiled by the Sidbrint research centre at Barcelona University (http://sidbrint.ub.edu/en) and the Comintern archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry (http://sovdoc.rusarchives.ru/#tematicchilds&rootId=94999). Historian Richard Baxell has produced this useful guide to navigating the Russian archives: www.richardbaxell.info/moscow-files

Glossary of political organisations referred to in the database
 
Abbreviation
Political organisation
BLLoY
British Labour League of Youth
CP
Communist Party
CPA
Communist Party of Australia
CPC
Communist Party of Canada
CPI
Communist Party of Ireland
CPNZ
Communist Party of New Zealand
CPUSA
Communist Party of United States
ILP
Independent Labour Party
ISLP
International Socialist Labour Party
IRA
Irish Republican Army
IRC
Irish Republican Congress
LP
Labour Party
LPSA
Labour Party of South Africa
SDF
Social Democratic Foundation
SL
Socialist League
SPGB
Socialist Party of Great Britain
YCL
Young Communist League
Database sources
 
The following is a key to the sources mentioned in the comments column. It should not be taken as an exhaustive bibliography of the British Battalion in Spain, nor the International Brigades themselves.
 
Abbreviation
Source Details
BA
Bill Alexander, British Volunteers for Liberty. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1982.
BC
Bob Clark, No Boots to my Feet: Experiences of a Britisher in Spain 1937-38. Student Bookshops, 1984.
C&P
Mike Cooper & Ray Parkes, We Cannot Park on Both Sides: Reading volunteers in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39. Reading: 2000.
C&R
D. Corkhill & S. Rawnsley (eds.), The Road to Spain: Anti Fascists at War 1936-1939. Fife: Borderline, 1981.
CH
Chris Hall, Not Just Orwell. Warren & Pell, 2009.
DH
David Hooper, No Pasarán! A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War. London: Avon, 1997.
ER
Esmond Romilly, Boadilla. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1937.
FR
Frank Ryan, ed., The Book of the XVth Brigade: Records of British, American, Canadian and Irish Volunteers in the XV International Brigade in Spain 1936-1938. Madrid: War Commissariat, 1938.
FT
Fred Thomas, To Tilt at Windmills: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War. East Lansing: State University of Michigan Press, 1996.
GC
Geoffrey Cox, The Defence of Madrid. London: Victor Gollancz, 1937.
GO
George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia. London: Secker & Warburg, 1937.
HF
Hywell Francis, Miners Against Fascism: Wales and the Spanish Civil War. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1984.
HS
H. Stratton, To Anti-Fascism by Taxi. West Glamorgan: Alun Books, 1984.
HS
Hugh Sloan, ‘Why I Volunteered’, Scottish Trade Union Review, 51, July-Sept 1991, pp. 30-31
HT
Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War, 3rd edition. London: Penguin, 1990.
IBA
International Brigade Archive, Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London EC1
IM
Ian MacDougall (ed.), Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain, 1936-1939. Edinburgh: Polygon, 1986.
IMD
Ian MacDougall, ‘Tom Murray: Veteran of Spain’ Cencrastus, 18, Autumn 1984, pp. 16-19.
IWMSA
Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, London.
JA
John Angus, With The International Brigade in Spain. Loughborough: 1983.
JC
Judith Cook, Apprentices of Freedom. London: Quartet Press, 1979.
JG
Jason Gurney, Crusade in Spain. London: Faber and Faber, 1974.
JH
James K. Hopkins, Into the Heart of the Fire: The British in the Spanish Civil War. California: Stanford, 1998.
JM
Joe Monks, With the Reds in Andalusia. Privately published, 1985.
JS
John Sommerfield, Volunteer in Spain. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1937.
KW
Keith Scott Watson, Single to Spain. London: Arthur Baker, 1937.
LE
Lloyd Edmonds, Letters from Spain. Sydney: George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
LL
Laurie Lee, A Moment of War. London: Viking, 1991.
Manchester
Manchester Studies Collection, Tameside Local Studies Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne
MJ
Michael Jackson, Fallen Sparrows: The International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1994.
MJH
M.J. Hynes, ‘The British Battalion of the XVth International Brigade’, Unpublished B.A. Dissertation, University of Manchester, 1985.
ML
Maurice Levine, Cheetham to Cordova. Manchester: Privately Published, 1984.
MOR
Michael O’Riordan, Connolly Column. Dublin: New Books, 1979.
NA
National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), Kew
PHM
Peoples’ History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History)
PT
Peter Thwaites, ‘The ILP Contingent in the Spanish Civil War’, Imperial War Museum Review, 1987, pp. 50-61.
RGASPI
International Brigade Collection, Russian Centre for the Preservation and Study of Recent Historical Documents, Moscow.
RS
Robert Stradling, Ireland and the Spanish Civil War. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999.
SH
Good to be Alive: The Story of Jack Brent. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1954.
SW
Stanley Weintraub, The Last Great Cause: The Intellectuals and the Spanish Civil War. London: W.H. Allen, 1968.
TW
Tom Wintringham, English Captain. London: Faber & Faber, 1939.
VB
Vincent Brome, The International Brigades. London: Heinmann, 1965.
W&C
Don Watson & John Corcoran, An Inspiring Example: The North East of England and the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Newcastle: McGuffin, 1996.
WG
Walter Gregory, The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War. London: Victor Gollancz, 1986.
WR
William Rust, Britons in Spain. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1939.