Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

What’s the link between the Spanish Civil War and Chorley?

Posted by wcmlibrary on October 16, 2012

Answer:  Over 220 Spanish anti-fascists and Republicans were interned in Hall o’The Hill camp at Adlington, Chorley during WWII.  Many of them had escaped from Spain to France after the Spanish Civil War, and found themselves detained in France in the autumn of 1944 and transported to Britain as prisoners of war.

The Library has a lot of photos of the camp, and the individuals who lived there.   Now we can put some names to faces thanks to Lisa Croft, who has brought us a wonderful folder of information about her grandparents and their involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Archibald Williams was an International Brigade volunteer who was imprisoned while in Spain fighting Franco’s forces;  his wife Jane Orme Williams had encouraged him to volunteer, and met him at Waterloo station when he was released in May 1937.  She had given birth to their daughter while he was away and, thinking he was dead, had called her Rosemary for remembrance and Nina, the Spanish for girl.

Archie and Jane visited the Republicans who were interned in Adlington, and the folder contains copies of sketches, photographs and pen pictures of some of the men.

These, plus things like prison notes from Archie and articles by Jane (who had a regular column in the Lancashire Evening Post during the post-war years, writing as ‘Mrs Argus’), make the folder a new treasure to add to the many already in our collection relating to the North West’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War.  Thanks Lisa.

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