A CAMPAIGN for a permanent memorial to Oxford volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War will be celebrated this summer with a special ceremony.

In February Oxford City Council's west area planning committee gave permission for the granite tribute to be placed on a grassy corner next to South Park, at the junction of Headington Road and Morrell Avenue.

It will honour 31 men and women with links to the city who joined the International Brigade and fought against the forces of General Francisco Franco in the civil war from 1936 to 1939.

The proposal has been delayed by complaints about suggested locations, with Bonn Square and another location near the war memorial in St Giles both previously rejected.

John Haywood, one of the campaigners for the memorial, said he was delighted that Saturday, June 10 has now been agreed as the date to unveil the memorial.

The 68-year-old from Banbury, a retired colleges services manager, said: "We have been campaigning for this for a few years so we are very pleased that the location has been agreed with the city council and we now have a date for the unveiling.

"The previous locations suggested could not be agreed so we went for this area next to South Park where a lot if people will be able to see the memorial.

"Drivers will see it when they go past, and so will bus passengers cyclists and pedestrians and people using the park.

"It has taken us nearly four years to achieve and we are delighted that everything has finally come together in this way.

"We have met some opposition along the way but we think it is very fitting that there should be a memorial to the men from Oxford who fought in the Spanish Civil War, including six who died.

"The Deputy Mayor has accepted our invitation to unveil the memorial at 12 noon."

Mr Haywood's mother Jean Haywood was a friend of Nan Green who went to Spain to become the chief administrator to Len Crome, the Chief Medical Officer of the International Brigades.

Mr Haywood said the memorial, designed by sculptor Charlie Carter, has cost about £30,000.

There will be a fundraising event at the Friends Meeting House in St Giles at 7.30pm on Friday, June 9 with a discussion featuring Richard Baxell, chairman of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, and Carmin Negrin, granddaughter of Juan Negrin, the last Republican Prime Minister.

There will also be a fundraising concert on June 10 at West Oxford Community Centre in Botley Road, at 7.30pm.

Mr Haywood said the events would help to fund the cost of the memorial, with most of the money already raised.

Colin Carritt, from Woodstock, who led calls for the memorial, said earlier it was 'long overdue'.

Mr Carritt's father, Noel Carritt, was injured in Spain, while his uncle, Anthony Carritt, was one of six volunteers from the Oxford area killed. Both will be named on the memorial.

Heritage groups, including Oxford Preservation Trust, argued the spot next to South Park, owned by the city council, was 'inappropriate' and out of character with the surrounding area.

The trust warned it could also impact views within the conservation area.