Spanish passport for British members of the International Brigades

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Following the unveiling of a plaque just a month ago in the Fuencarral Cemetery, in the northern outskirts of Madrid, a further step was taken, yesterday, to honour the British members of the International Brigades who fought on the side of the republican government during the Spanish Civil War.

Seven surviving British veterans who joined the International Brigades were granted dual Spanish citizenship, yesterday, June 10th, at the Spanish embassy in London. The eldest veteran, Lou Kenton is 101 years old. Joseph Khan, aged 94, was the youngest survivor to be granted a Spanish passport. Carles Casajuana, Spain’s ambassador to the UK also awarded Spanish citizenship to Penny Feiwel, aged 100, Paddy Cochrane, 96, Thomas Watters, 96, Sam Lesser, 95, and Jack Edwards, aged 95.

An eighth veteran, Les Gibson, aged 96, was forced to decline the offer due to ill health. The offer also came too late for two other former members of the International Brigades, Jack Jones and Bob Doyle. Jack Jones, the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, from 1969 to 1978, died just over a month ago, on April 21st, but his son picked up his passport on his behalf. Bob Doyle died at the beginning of the year, on January 22nd.

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