Memorial stone to honour fight against fascists

Colin Carritt

Colin Carritt

First published in News

PLANS to build Oxford’s first memorial to the city’s Spanish Civil War volunteers have been unveiled.

The International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) has applied to Oxford City Council for a memorial in Bonn Square.

The two metre by one metre granite stone, to be placed at the back of the square, will remember brigade volunteers who fought fascism from 1936 to 1939.

Oxford Mail:

A picture of Colin Carritt's father Noel

It will remember 28 volunteers who worked, lived or studied in the city and carry the names of seven volunteers who lost their lives.

Backers hope a special digital code will go on the side of the memorial that can be scanned with smartphones to provide information about the conflict.

This will be a copy of a book about the conflict and volunteers’ stories developed with £500 from the Greening Lamborn Trust.

The trust was set up in memory of former St Mary Magdalen Boy’s School headteacher EA Greening Lamborn to promote county history.

Trust member Colin Carritt, 69, said: “I think over the years interest in the Spanish Civil War has grown.

“It’s a neglected area of history because it was followed so quickly by the Second World War.”

His father Noel Carritt and uncle Anthony Carritt were among volunteers and his uncle was among 526 worldwide volunteers who were killed.

Mr Carritt said: “They made a stand against tyranny and I think I, and most people, should be very grateful.”

Oxford Mail:

The design of the proposed Bonn Square memorial

The trust has raised £4,000 towards the £6,000 and are hopeful funds will be place to start work if permission is given.

He said: “It’s an area where town and gown mix and I think that’s important. We want it to be available to everyone.

“Having a memorial doesn’t really mean much if people don’t really understand the background to how the Spanish Civil War came about.”

The initiative has received backing from Oxford City Council as well as Oxford and District Trades Union Council.

Council head of policy, culture and communications Peter McQuilty said: “Oxford City Council is proud to support a memorial to those brave Oxford people who volunteered to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

“Hopefully this will help shine a light on part of Oxford’s history that deserves to be better remembered.”

SACRIFICE

VOLUNTEERS to be named on the memorial are:

  • Actor Edward Burke, from Duns Tew, died from wounds  February, 1937
  • Boars Hill farm manager Anthony Carritt, volunteer ambulance driver, died of wounds July, 1937
  • Olympic gold medal rower and Christ Church student Lewis Clive, killed at Ebro, 1938
  • Student Francis Dewhurst, killed in July, 1937, at Brunete
  • Factory manager Herbert Fisher, served as a medic, died in October, 1938
  • Journalist Ralph Fox killed in action at Lopera, 1936
  • Student John Rickman, killed on the Jarama front in May, 1937.

FRANCO's VICTORY

The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 when army generals rebelled against the elected government of the Spanish Republic.

The war was fought between the Republicans and General Franco’s rebel group the Nationalists. General Franco declared victory on April 1, 1939, ruling as dictator until his death in 1975.

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