40,000 men did do something

Letter from Bill Scott

Grimsby Evening Telegraph, 18th October 1975

This was one of a series of letters in the paper debating the ‘Red tyranny’ in Spain and the recent execution of 5 prisoners, CC.


Your correspondent from Scunthorpe, Mr L Pickup, asks why all this fuss about Spain now? Why did we not do something about Franco when he first started?

The answer is that we did; 40,000 of us, from five continents, including 2,000 young Britons, 500 of whom died there, fought in order that the bombs dropping on Madrid would not drop on London.

Mr Pickup observes that we seen to forget past history, and mentions 1926 and Northern Ireland, etc. He seems to have forgotten 1936 (if he was born then) when Franco and his army attacked the Government of Spain which had been elected by the people through the ballot box.

Without an army, the Spanish Government appealed to the world for weapons to arm the people in defence of their republic. Britain, France and America declared for ‘non intervention’, but volunteers from 50 countries answered the call for help.

I cannot end this letter without quoting an Irishman from Dublin who, in a message to his friends, said: “Rather than that Fascism should win in Europe, I would leave my body in Spain to manure the fields.” Even now, as an old age pensioner, my thoughts often go back to the spot where they buried him in the Valley of Jarama. That war never ended.

I would tell Mr Pickup and others, that to compare Spanish policemen to British policemen is an insult to the whole British police force.

Bill Scott

Other material by/about Bill Scott can be found here...