history and politics

August 2018

224pp

£19.99

Paperback

978-186057-1305

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DRAGON BOOKS

'You Are Legend'
The Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War


Graham Davies

‘Davies’s analysis of complex issues is lucid and his narrative is well paced. As such, it’s an extremely readable and significant addition to the literature on the Spanish civil war.'
Morning Star

‘Excellent. A paean to the working men and women of Wales who went to Spain to fight in defence of the fledgling Spanish Republic.’
Keith Jones, son of volunteer Tom Jones from Rhosllanerchrugog

Well researched, and using previously unpublished sources, You Are Legend is recommended reading. It is important that the contribution of the large number of Welsh volunteers continues to be recognised.'
Mary Greening, daughter of volunteers Edwin Greening of Aberdare

‘A highly readable and comprehensively researched account of the Welsh  Brigaders.’
Alan Warren,  Spanish Civil War historian


“Mothers! Women! When the years pass by and the wounds of war are stanched; when the memory of the sad and bloody days dissipates in a present of liberty, of peace and of well­being … speak to your children. Tell them of these men of the  International Brigades.”
Dolores Ibarruri, 'La Pasionaria'

 

Almost 200 Welshmen volunteered to join the International Brigade and travelled to Spain to fight fascism with the Republicans during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. Whilst over 150 returned home, at least 35 died during the brutal conflict. You Are Legend is their remarkable story.

 

Lovingly and thoroughly researched by Graham Davies, You Are Legend outlines the motives, values and actions of the volunteers from Wales, by exploring the social, cultural, religious and political context of Wales during the 1930s. It also provides a fascinating insight into who they were, their political backgrounds, and follows their journeys to Spain, their experiences in a series of key battles fought by the British Battalion, before documenting their deaths or safe return to Wales.

 

Politically active as trade unionists, members of the Communist or Labour parties, and hunger marchers; many were unemployed miners and most were working class with the fighting spirit of the coalfield and the impoverished. Unprepared and sometimes incredulous, these volunteers became immersed in a civil war which cruelly created a rupture in the heart of Spain which has never fully healed.

You Are Legend is the first book to fully document all of the Welsh volunteers and pays tribute to these brave and principled men.

 

Graham Davies is a retired education advisor and school inspector, who has travelled widely throughout Spain to research You Are Legend. He lives in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire.

Contents

1. Background to the Spanish Civil War

2. The Wales of the Volunteers             

3. The International Brigades    

4. Madrid and the Jarama Valley             

5. Brunete         

6. The Aragon Front     

7. The Battle of the Ebro

Epilogue
Roll of Honour - The Welsh Volunteers
Bibliography
Index