Sacrifices in fascism fight

Hartlepool College of Further Education students(left to right) Antonia Fawcett, Kirsty Grigg and Emily Coxon pictured at the exhibition.
Hartlepool College of Further Education students(left to right) Antonia Fawcett, Kirsty Grigg and Emily Coxon pictured at the exhibition.
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AN exhibition commemorating the sacrifices made by British and Irish volunteers – including a man from Hartlepool – who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War has gone on display.

Hartlepool Trades Union Council is hosting the International Brigade “AntiFascistas” Exhibition at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in the town’s Stockton Street.

Edwin Jeffries pictured with Hartlepool College of Further Education student Johnjames(cor) Rhodes at the  International Brigade "AntiFascistas" Exhibition.

Edwin Jeffries pictured with Hartlepool College of Further Education student Johnjames(cor) Rhodes at the International Brigade "AntiFascistas" Exhibition.

The exhibition concentrates the 2,500 British and Irish volunteers who joined the legendary international brigades’ in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, as well as those men and women who served in the Republics medical services or who took part in the fight against fascism in other ways.

The exhibition by the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) aims to keep alive the memory and spirit of those men and women who volunteered to defend democracy.

Tommy Carter, from Caledonian Road, was the only volunteer from Hartlepool involved in the conflict but he sadly died within the first six months in Spain at the battle of Jarama.

Mr Carter, who was a family friend of town Labour councillor Carl Richardson’s parents, was in his late 20s when he died.

Coun Richardson said: “Tommy Carter was the only one that went from Hartlepool or West Hartlepool as it was then.

“Tommy died I believe in the first six months of being in Spain at the Battle of Jarama.

“It is important for the people of this town to know about and to remember the sacrifices that these volunteers made.

“They all went to fight against fascism and to fight for democracy.”

Edwin Jeffries, president of Hartlepool Trades Union Council, said: “This exhibition commemorates those people that unselfishly went to a foreign land to fight for what they believed in and a significant number didn’t come back.”

It is the second time the exhibition has been held at the college.

Jo Fields, student advisor at the college, said: “The IBMT exhibition was so popular with both staff, students and the general public last year that we were thrilled to be asked to display it again.

“It is an extremely interesting and educational display with local links that proved interesting when discussed with students.

“The exhibition tells the story of 2,500 volunteers from Britain who joined the international brigades to defend democracy.”

The exhibition is on display at the college until Friday, March 8.

The display, which is open between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, is on the second floor near the Tree of Remembrance.

The IBMT was founded in 2001 to bring together surviving veterans and their families and friends, historians, and individuals and organisations inspired by the heroism and sacrifice of the volunteers.

For more information about the exhibition call the college on (01429) 295111 or the IBMT on (0207) 2286504.