On Thursday, 17th January our Year 13 A Level Spanish class was visited by Carmen Kilner Sánchez from the Basque Children of ‘37 Association. She spoke about her parents’ experience helping the 4,000 Spanish evacuees from the Guernica bombing in the 1930’s. These children escaped the Fascist bombing in the Basque country in Spain on board La Habana and sought safety in Southampton. Carmen’s mother was a teacher accompanying the children and her father was Spanish but had lived in England for a year, so was able to act as an interpreter between the English and the Spanish children. Carmen gave us lots of interesting information on the background of the evacuation, her parents’ experience and what it was like for the children. The talk was very interesting and we learnt a lot.
Following on from the talk by Carmen Kilner, on Thursday, 24th January, we were visited by the President of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, Jim Jump. This organisation keeps alive the memory of all the international volunteers that fought for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1936 against the Fascist Nationalists. Jim Jump’s father was an British volunteer in the International Brigade between 1937 and 1938, joining the likes of George Orwell. Jim’s mother was Spanish and came to England to escort the children evacuated from Guernica, just like Carmen’s mother. Jim told us about the Spanish Civil War and how it affected other countries and acted as a precursor to WWII, which was very interesting and will deepen our understanding of Spanish history, as part of our A Level course.