Brighton International Brigaders Return from Spain – December 1938

Sussex People’s Scrapbook, 1938 Ernie Trory collection 

[Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton]
Screen Archive South East – Films from the Screen Archive South East collection
For some historical background to the footage here, below is an extract from Between the Wars: Recollections of a Communist Organiser (Crabtree Press, 1974) by Ernie Trory, p. 18.
‘On the 12 December [1938] we welcomed home Comrades Anton Miles and Bill Sill, both of whom had served a year with the International Brigade in Spain.  Several organisations including the Shop Assistants’ Union, Unity Theatre Club, the Communist Party, National Unemployed Workers’ Movement and Young Communist League took part in a march from the Labour Club to Brighton station to meet the returning Brigaders.  A deputation consisting of Councillor Briggs and Councillor Douglas of the Labour Party, the Sussex District Organiser of the Shop Assistants’ Union, the Brighton organiser of the [Communist] Party and myself met the Brigaders on the platform.  After being introduced to the delegates they made their appearance outside the station where the demonstration was awaiting them.  They were greeted with cheering and clapping.  Having shaken hands all down the line of the demonstrators, the Brigaders took up their position at the head of the march.  Many onlookers fell in to swell the procession behind the Spanish colours and red flags.  At the War Memorial [in Old Steine] the Brigaders laid a wreath with the inscription, “In memory of the Brighton and Sussex men who gave their lives in Spain that peace and democracy may live”.  A few days later we were proud to welcome back Comrade Arthur Hirst who had been driving a mobile hospital in Spain for over two yearts, and Comrade Jump of Worthing who had been mentioned in dispatches “for having fulfilled his duty especially as an interpreter in a number of meetings held under intense fire”.’

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