Spanish Civil War research guide

The Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1936 after fascist ‘Nationalist’ forces commanded by a group of military generals (including General Franco) attempted to overthrow the democratically elected Republican government of Spain.

Alarmed at the prospect of another European country falling into fascist hands, and dismayed at the inaction of their political leaders, volunteers (largely of Communist/left-wing political persuasion) from Britain and over 50 countries throughout the world joined the International Brigade, risking their lives to go out to Spain to fight against Franco and fascism.

In Sheffield, the Sheffield Peace Council (a local socialist group) established an aid programme for the Republican cause (appealing for food, milk, medical aid, etc.), and helped to instigate an underground recruitment drive for local International Brigade volunteers.

The District Communist Party performed a similar function. At least 26 South Yorkshire men (including at least 15 men with Sheffield connections) took part in the conflict. Many never made it back home, falling in bloody battles such as the Battle of Jarama.

Contact us on to find out more, book in advance or order archival materials.

Contact the Archives and Local Studies Library

First Floor, Central Library
Surrey Street
S1 1XZ
0114 203 9395 (Sat, Mon, Tues)
0114 273 4753 (Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat)