Steve Fullarton was the last survivor of the 500 Scots who fought with the International Brigades against General Franco’s rebels in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Aged just 18, and halfway through his engineering apprenticeship when he crossed the Pyrenees in April 1938, he was also one of the youngest of the 2,300 men and women from the British Isles – of whom nearly one in four died – who enlisted as soldiers or medics to defend the Spanish Republic. Indeed, he had to lie about his age, since the Communist Party – the recruiting agent for the volunteers – had a policy of only accepting those aged over 21.
2 thoughts on “Steve Fullarton: International Brigades volunteer”
The last volunteer from Wales died just over a year ago (lots of Civil War posts with a Welsh connection on that blog). To be fair, a fair bit is done in Wales to remember the volunteers, but I hear very little on a UK basis about the war. I remember when I first heard of the Civil War when I was in my teens (early 90’s) and being surprised to find out Spain had been under a Fascist dictator until very recent. Yet, none of this was taught to us at school, only that Germans were/are bad.
That’s because shortly after he won, Franco was recognised by the UK & USA as either a ‘useful idiot’ or a ‘vital vanguard’, depending your viewpoint. Another case of ‘Democracy for the world! Except where they might vote red!’.