The last International

I read today that, Thomas Watters,  the last Scottish Spanish Civil War volunteer has died aged  99

The story came courtesy of the BBC, they go on “Thomas Watters, originally from Glasgow, had been a corporation bus driver in the city before he went to Spain in 1936 as part of the Scottish ambulance unit.

Some 500 Scots joined the International Brigade to fight against Franco’s army.”

I have always had a great respect for the members of the International Brigade, Scots from strong socialist backgrounds, from the Fife and Larnarkshire coalfields, left their jobs to fighting in a foreign land to halt the spread of  General Franco’s fascism and ultimately they lost. Spain became a dictatorship and a good few of the International Brigade never came home.

There are not that many people in this country who would go off to fight for a cause in a foreign land these days. The ones that do are viewed very differently to the International Brigade, probably because they end up fighting against the NATO and British forces… or were the members of the International Brigade also ostracised for their beliefs too?

I guess I’ll never know.

Enjoy the freedom that you have because somewhere, someplace,  someone paid the ultimate price for your freedoms. My Granny’s uncle played the pipes as the soldiers went over the top in WW1, his body was never found. Just one of many names on the Menin Gate. A relative on my Dad’s side fought in the Dardanelles and never came home either.

Support the troops, it is the least that you can do.

Arrbest Tommy.

There are two memorials dedicated to the Scots volunteers, one in Kirkcaldy Photo Photo, the other in Glasgow.


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