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Oxford War Memorials: Spanish Civil War, St Clement's

Spanish Civil War Memorial

This memorial was unveiled in St Clement's, on the grassy area outside South Park, on Saturday 10 June 2017.

It remembers the 31 volunteers from the County of Oxfordshire who went to fight in the Spanish Civil War, and names the six that were killed:

Anthony Carritt
Edward Cooper
Lewis Clive
Herbert Fisher
Ralph Fox
John Rickman


The memorial is made of granite and is 1.8m high and 1m wide. It depicts a three-pointed red star (the symbol of the International Brigade who were opposed to the fascists) and a clenched fist crushing a scorpion, representing the democratic struggle against the poison of fascism. It was designed by Charlie Carter Artworks Ltd.

The project cost about £30,000 which was collected through donations, fund-raising events, and the sale of a specially produced book, No Other Way: Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War 1936–39


Back of memorial

There is a plaque fixed to the back of the memorial (left). This reads:



In memory of the 31 men
and women of Oxfordshire
who defended democracy
and fought fascism in the
Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939
and the people of the County
who gave them support.

Six were killed in action.

‘We came because our open
eyes could see no other way.’
C Day Lewis

The International Brigade Memorial Trust originally planned to site a memorial in Bonn Square, but the city council rejected this proposal in the autumn of 2014 on the grounds that it was “visually intrusive and overly-dominant”.
See BBC News report.

The Trust then proposed the present more dramatic memorial and hoped to place it near the Oxford War Memorial in St Giles', but there was fierce opposition, and the planning application was withdrawn (15/02859/FUL).
See article in the Morning Star.

Eventually planning permission to site it on the triangle of grass at the foot of Headington Hill just outside South Park (below) was granted in March 2017 (16/03166/FUL).

Memorial in context

The memorial was unveiled by the Deputy Lord Mayor Christine Simm in the presence of Carmen Negrin (granddaughter of Juan Negrin, the last Prime Minister of the Spanish Republic). Colin Carritt (nephew of the first man named on the memorial) introduced the speakers, who included Richard Baxell (Chair of the International Brigade Memorial Trust National Executive Committee). Neil Gore read “The Volunteer”, a poem by C. Day Lewis.

Carmin NegrinCarmin Negrin making her speech

UnveilingDeputy Lord Mayor Christine Simm unveiling the memorial

Oxford Mail reports:

Morning Star report:

International Brigade Memorial Trust press releases:

© Stephanie Jenkins

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