Monday, 4 July 2011

Event - Spanish Civil War milestone marked (Sheffield)

PUBLIC lectures, film screenings, exhibitions and poetry events are set to be hosted by Sheffield University to mark the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

The calendar of events, which runs until Sunday, July 17, aims to celebrate the part played by international volunteers, particularly those from South Yorkshire.

Academics are holding the events in partnership with the International Brigades Memorial Trust, an organisation which aims to educate people about the history of more than 35,000 people who volunteered to help the Spanish Republic in its fight against fascism.

On Saturday, July 9 MP Paul Blomfield, Lord Mayor of Sheffield Sylvia Dunkley and council leader Julie Dore will attend a ceremony in the Peace Gardens to rededicate the Sheffield Memorial plaque to those South Yorkshire residents who died during the war in Spain.

Professor Mary Vincent, a Spanish Civil War expert from Sheffield University, said: “It’s really good to see archival materials from the university’s special collections and the city’s Local Studies Library on public display. These show the interest and involvement there was both locally and nationally in the Spanish Civil War.”

Events will include exhibitions at both the Jessop West building and the Local Studies Library, an evening of songs and poetry at Sheffield Trades and Labour Club on Wednesday, July 13 and film screenings at the Showroom Cinema in Paternoster Row.

Mike Wild, whose father was the commander of the British Battalion in the 15th International Brigade, is secretary of the South Yorkshire branch of the International Brigades Memorial Trust.

He said: “My hope for this series of events is to honour the memory of local, ordinary people like my father, who recognised the real potential for world war in this conflict and knew that fighting fascism was worth risking their lives for.”

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