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Forthcoming events...

2024

5 June, 7pm, Eccles library, Eccles, Salford. Discussion on Forged in Spain, the International Brigades and the Spanish Civil War with Nicholas Barnett, lecturer in History and Politics at the University of Salford. -->More info and tickets here.

15 June, 6pm, Marx Memorial Library, London. 'Public support and governmental hypocrisy: differing British responses to the struggle of the Spanish Republic, 1936-1939'. Joint book launch of my Forged in Spain and Professor Sir Paul Preston's Perfidious Albion, both published by Clapton Press. -->More info & tickets here

6 July, 1pm, Jubilee Gardens, London Annual commemoration of the International Brigade Memorial Trust.

November (precise date tbc), online. Annual Len Crome discussion with Professors Helen Graham and Sir Paul Preston.

Anti-Fascist London

On 24 April 2024 (the 92nd anniversary of the Kinder Trespass), I joined a round-table discussion at The Bishopsgate Institute in London talking about the memorialisation of anti-fascism. The discussion concluded an afternoon listening to a number of powerful testimonies from individuals involved in the struggle against fascism in London:

  • Balwinder Rana. Half a Century of Fighting against Fascism and Still Going Strong
  • Julie Begum. Women Unite Against Racism
  • Joe Mulhall. HOPE not hate’s campaign against the BNP in Barking and Dagenham and beyond
  • Alex R. Organising in the Anti-Fascist Network: A view from London
  • Iida Kayhko. Feminist anti-fascism and collective self-defence

Joining me around the table, chaired by Nigel Copsey of Teeside University, were Naaz Rashid of the University of Sussex and Ben Gidley of Birkbeck, University of London.

The various talks, discussions and academic papers heard over the two-day event are to be published in a collected volume, precise details to be confirmed.

Crowd at the International Brigade Memorial Trust‘s annual commemoration in 2003, Chris Smith MP on the right of picture.

Chris Farman 1937-2020

On 10 June 2017 a memorial to volunteers for the Spanish Civil War from Oxfordshire was unveiled in St. Clement’s, Oxford. The road to this event had been incredibly long and tortuous, not least because many locals had opposed the erection of a monument to ‘a bunch of reds’. That the project had ever managed to be realised was down to the hard work, determination and bloody-mindedness of the members of the Oxford Memorial Organising Committee, not least the historian and journalist Chris Farman. Sadly, Chris died last week, one of all too many victims of the pandemic.

Chris Farman, with fellow author Valery Rose

With Valery Rose and Liz Woolley, Chris was the author of No Other Way, Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War. Sales of the book did much to help fund the erection of the Oxford memorial. It’s a great piece of local history, well written and extremely thoroughly researched, with a great introduction written by Chris. He was the perfect choice for the introduction, for he had previously written for The Guardian and the Illustrated London News and worked as an editor on a book on the British Empire, published by Time-Life Books. He also has written his own monograph: The General Strike, published in 1972.

I first met Chris in at a fundraising for the Oxford memorial. Like his fellow organisers, Colin Carritt and John Heywood, Chris put a huge amount of time and effort into this and subsequent events. His natural charm and enthusiasm did much to help make them a success and (as I know) he was adept at persuading other people to get involved. A regular and popular presence at IBMT events, Chris will be very sadly missed.

There are full obituaries for Chris Farman on the IBMT’s website and in the Banbury Guardian.

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    Research

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