When it was all over and the station was almost quiet again, the oldest porter to be found was asked if he had ever seen anything like this. "No", he said, "I saw nothing like it even at the end of the last war" Replying to speeches of welcome to the returning Brigadiers, Sam Wild, Commander of the British Battalion said:
"We intend to keep the promise we made to the Spanish people before we left — that we would only change our front and continue to fight in Britain for the assistance of
From the Daily Worker,
At last the train steamed into Victoria Station;, and from its windows there waved the flags of fifty-two nations. Even before it stopped, mothers and sons, wives and husbands were re-united.
As they left the train, headed by Battalion Commander Sam Wild, Political Commissar Bob Cooney and Quartermaster "Hookey" Walker, they were welcomed by Mr Attlee, leader of the Labour Party. With him were Will Lawther of the Miners Federation, Mr William Gallacher, M.P., of the Communist Party, Mr J. R. Squance, Railmen's Union Leader, Sir Norman Angell, Lord Strabolgi, Sir Stafford Cripps and Tom Mann."
Led proudly by their wounded comrades, the men marched into
These men have made history, by forming part of the greatest international democratic army the world has ever known. They have inspired the world by their example.
Something of this seemed to enter into everyone who was at
Sam Wild commander of the British Battalion of the International Brigade, was quoted as saying:
"The British Battalion is prepared to carry on the work begun here to see to it that our 500 comrades who sleep for ever beneath Spanish soil shall serve as an example to the entire British people in the struggle against fascism.
Those who were killed included member of the nursing and ambulance volunteers sent by the Spanish Medical Aid Committee (SMAC) established 1st August 1936.
The following SMAC personnel died in Spain.
Percy Batson: Ambulance Driver - Feb 1938
Julian Bell: Ambulance Driver July 1937
Anthony Carritt: Ambulance Driver July 1937
George de Groode: Ambulance Driver July 1937
George Green: Ambulance Driver/Orderly Sept 1938
Vincent Hunt: Ambulance Driver July 1937
Emmanuel Julius: Hospital Stores Oct 1936
Issie Kupchik: Ambulance Driver June 1937
Ruth Ormesby: Nurse April 1938
E. Petrie: Ambulance Driver July 1937
Randall Sollenberger: Doctor July 1937
Halcrow Verstage: Ambulance Driver 1937
Below video of
Maxine Peake reading the "Farewell to the International Brigade " given originally by Dolores Ibarruri in 1938.