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The volunteers

Between 1996 and 2016, IBMT archivist Jim Carmody and I worked on putting together an annotated list of all the ‘British’ and Irish volunteers for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. The list drew upon a wide range of sources held in Britain, Spain and Russia, though principally those held in the International Brigade Archive in the Marx Memorial Library in London (IBA) and the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History in Moscow (RGASPI).

The searchable list below gives a brief summary for each of the 2333 individuals held within our records. In time more information on each volunteer will be placed online. Hopefully, until then, this will be a useful starting point for relatives, students and researchers.

N.B. The records include assessments of the volunteers made by their political superiors in the latter part of the war in Spain. Many are derogatory, referring to desertion, drunkenness and indiscipline, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. They were written for internal use primarily as an assessment as suitability for future membership of the Communist Party at home. Many volunteers with outstanding military records in Spain – including senior ranking officers – nevertheless received extremely critical assessments.

For a list of all the sources referred to in the comments (and their abbreviations), click here to open a new window. For political organisations, see below:

Abbreviation Political organisation
BLLoY British Labour League of Youth
CP Communist Party
CPA Communist Party of Australia
CPC Communist Party of Canada
CPI Communist Party of Ireland
CPNZ Communist Party of New Zealand
CPUSA Communist Party of United States
ILP Independent Labour Party
ISLP International Socialist Labour Party
IRA Irish Republican Army
IRC Irish Republican Congress
LP Labour Party
LPSA Labour Party of South Africa
SDF Social Democratic Foundation
SL Socialist League
SPGB Socialist Party of Great Britain
YCL Young Communist League


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