Welsh war vol­un­teers fea­tured

Llanelli Star - - NEWS -

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.

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