Islington Museum: Spanish Civil War Banners (24.6.2017)

Interestingly, the Americans were represented by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade – which was commanded for sometime by African-American Communist Oliver Law (1900-1937) – who is believed to have been the first Black man to command White troops in any capacity in world history. Although the Republic was eventually destroyed by fascism in 1939, the bravery of the ‘foreign’ International Brigades has never been forgotten by the Spanish people!

Tom Wintringham – How an Oxford Communist Founded the Home Guard

Tom Wintringham returned to the UK after the Spanish Civil War and worked as a journalist. He used his experience of fighting fascism in Spain to call for the establishment of a ‘Home Guard’ in the UK made-up of ordinary people defending the area within which they lived from the threat of armed invasion. He wrote a number of progressive books on modern warfare which emphasized guerrilla fighting but were also critical of the class-based system of the UK military. This Communistic thinking immediately made him unpopular with the rightwing Winston Churchill and the middle class officer corps.