FIFE Trades Union Council is holding an event on Saturday February 25 to commemorate those from Kingdom who went to support the Spanish Government in the Spanish Civil War.

The event begins at 11 am at the memorial for those volunteers in Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy.

A short commemoration there will be followed by speeches and a reception in the Adam Smith Theatre from 11.30 am. Among those speaking will be the Depute Provost of Fife, Kay Morrison, and Mike Arnott from the International Brigade Memorial Trust.

Ian Waddell, Chair of Fife Trades Union Council, described why the event was being held, and he talked about how the people of Lumphinnans helped supply key medical instruments: “This is an important part of the history of Fife.

"People in the Kingdom responded to General Franco’s military rebellion against the democratically elected Republican Government of Spain. They saw that Franco was backed by the armed might of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.

“Across the world people realised that fascism had to be confronted. Many went to fight with the Spanish Government in the International Brigade. Forty volunteers from Fife were among them."

He added: "The British Battalion of the International Brigade first saw action in the Jarama Valley in February 1937. Volunteers from Fife were involved in that battle. We are holding this commemorative event to mark the 80th anniversary.

“It was not just men who went to Spain. Women went to serve as nurses treating those wounded in the fighting.

"One of those was Anne Knight from Cairneyhill, who worked for a surgeon in Barcelona. 'When he needed surgical instruments', she relates ‘I would contact Lumphinnans and the most marvellous instruments would be sent out to us. They must have cost a terrific amount. At home they were really working as hard as any of us’

“This highlights for us the importance of support generated by the communities in Fife for the fight in Spain. People in Fife raised funds to help the families of volunteers. They collected clothes and other items to help the Spanish people. At our commemoration we will remember that level of commitment as well as the heroism of the volunteers.”