Welsh war volunteers featured
AN exhibition organised by International Brigades Cymru (IB Cymru) is being displayed in Llanelli Library this month featuring the story of the Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.
To accompany the exhibition there will be a free public lecture by Graham Davies, author of You are Legend: The Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, Welsh Academic Press on Friday at 11.30am in the library.
A number of men from Llanelli left their families to fight for the International Brigades in Spain. These were Brazell Thomas, Jack Harris, Evan Jones, Emlyn Lloyd, William Morris and JJ Evans.
Sadly, three of these are among 35 Welsh volunteers who died.
Jack Harris was educated at Old Road School and the Council School Felinfoel, Llanelli. He was a mineworker at the Acorn Colliery, Llangennech, and had served in the Royal Engineers, but was unemployed in the economic depression. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet on the April 2, 1937, in the trench-based warfare following the battle of Jarama.
Brazell Thomas of Llanelli was killed in fierce fighting on what was called Hill 481 in the Battle of the Ebro and his friend Evan Jones was badly wounded.
Both arrived in Spain at the same time and were 25 years old.
They had worked at the Burry Tinplate Works and were very active politically.
Less is known about William Morris, a copper worker who left for Spain in May 1937 and was killed two months later at the battle of Brunete, probably in the nearby town of Villanueva de la Canada.
Emlyn Lloyd left for Spain in June 1938 and returned in early December 1938, and fought in the Battle of Brunete and the Ebro and in battles on the Aragon Front. An active trade unionist, he had worked at the Old Castle Tin Works in Llanelli.
Less is known about JJ Evans. MI5 files recently released indicate he was repatriated on December 19, 1938.