On 31 May 2018 I joined the biographer and filmmaker, Jane Rogoyska, for a presentation at L.S.E.'s Cañada Blanch Centre, chaired by Professor Paul Preston. We were outlining our thoughts on the image that had recently appeared on social media: did it really show the celebrated photojournalist, Gerda Taro, on her death bed?
In the Sky News studio talking about the former International Brigader, Geoffrey Servante, who died on 22 April 2019, aged 99. He was almost certainly the last surviving British veteran of the Spanish Civil War.
For this year's Len Crome event, I discussed the difficulties involved in establishing the precise background and origins of the volunteers for Spain from Britain & Ireland and how the various national groups in the International Brigades got along while fighting in Spain. The talk will be on the IBMT's Youtube channel and a precis appears in issue 45 of the IBMT magazine (2/2017).
I was very happy to take part in a short six minute film produced by the Gill Parker Consultancy. The film was commissioned by the L.S.E. to showcase the expertise of LSE academics; in this instance Professor of Contemporary Spanish History, Paul Preston. In addition to myself, the film included interviews with former Basque child, Herminio Martínez; Professor of Spanish History, Helen Graham; and Spanish writer and journalist, Lala Isla.
BBC Radio 3 Proms Extra
On 9 August 2017, I introduced a number of readings relating to the International Brigades, movingly delivered by actors Christopher Ecclestone and Yolanda Vazquez and by Margot Heinemann’s daughter, Jane Bernal.
Described as ‘a rich and unflinching oral history’, Unlikely Warriors is a comprehensive account of the Britons who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
The book tells the story of the the ordinary British men and women who were forced to make an extraordinary choice. Drawing upon numerous memoirs, amny of them unpublished and interviews and documents held in archives in Britain, Spain, America and Russia, this book tells the story of the fight against fascism in Britain and Europe from 1932 to 1945.
Published by Aurum Press, a hardback edition is available from all good bookshops at £25.00 or less.
On 14 May 2012, Richard joined local historian Danny Payne and Clarion cyclist and IBMT treasurer, Charles Jepson, in Liverpool to talk to the ASLEF annual conference. Danny and Charles talked about the role and legacy of British trade-unionists in the Spanish Civil War, before Richard drew on his forthcoming book, Unlikely Warriors, to deliver a lecture on the reasons behind the Manchester volunteers’ motivations and experiences in Spain during the spring of 1937.
Many thanks to General Secretary Mick Whelan and organiser Colin Smith for a great event, and to all who attended for their kind words and generous donation to the IBMT.
On Saturday 28 April, Richard joined Professor Paul Preston and Professor Helen Graham for Guernica 75. Organised by Mercedes Camino of Lancaster University, the event was a discussion of the International Brigades, Guernica and the Spanish Civil War.