Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War

Undergradute march, Arms for Spain, Oxford Mail 23-01-1939, p.3Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39

In July 1936 right-wing army officers staged a coup against the democratically-elected government of Spain, prompting a three-year civil war. More than half a million died, the majority of them civilians, and the conflict became a tragic precursor to World War II. This talk tells the story of how the people of Oxfordshire responded to the Spanish Civil War. More than thirty went to Spain to fight or as doctors and nurses, whilst thousands more joined in fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns at home. Still others welcomed and housed hundreds of Basque refugees who had fled to Britain to escape the fighting. These events accompanied profound political changes, in Oxford in particular, and the uniting of ‘town’ and ‘gown’ in a popular front never seen before (and perhaps since) in the city.

“It was such an interesting talk … I visit Spain regularly but like many others I knew nothing about Oxfordshire’s connections with the Spanish Civil War. Other members found it very informative as well.”  Sue Burnage, Radley WI, September 2019

“We all enjoyed your talk last week. I think many of us had been wondering what Oxfordshire had had to do with the Spanish Civil War and we were surprised to learn that so many Oxon people were involved. It gave much food for thought.”  Rachel Jacques, Chalgrove Local History Group, November 2016

“A masterclass on the Spanish Civil War … many members have said what a good evening it was.” Jennie Chesterton, Faringdon Peace Group, May 2016

“Liz Woolley’s brisk, research-based narrative, presented in an attractive PowerPoint format, seized our attention.” Andrew Bell, Daily Information, May 2016; read the whole review here.

“As someone with an affection for Spain, and who grew up in Oxfordshire, I found it fascinating to imagine the atmosphere in Oxford at that time. You really brought to life the people and their stories and it was very thought-provoking.”  Lydia Dixon, Heritage Retail Supervisor, Oxford Town Hall, October 2015

Contact me on 01865 242760 or liz@lizwoolley.co.uk to book this talk.

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