Saturday, 24 October 2009
Commemorating Scotland's International Brigade
Thomas Brannan, William Fox and Thomas Fleck, three men from Blantyre in Lanarkshire went to Spain in 1937 to fight on the Republican side in the civil war battle against General Franco's fascists. All three died there within months of their arrival. The statue or 'cairn' pictured was commissioned by East Kilbride and South Lanarkshire Trades Union Council to commemorate the three local men who paid the ultimate price to defend our ideals. The trades council invited me to speak today at the cairns unveiling. As a Lanarkshire boy I was delighted and honoured to say a few words both in their memory and about the ongoing battle against fascism in Britain today. I want to express my thanks to Stephen Smellie and the other members of the trades council for inviting me along. And I want to congratulate them for establishing such a wonderful monument in tribute to the three men and indeed to all those from Scotland who joined the international brigade. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and well supported event.