Philosophy Football have just produced this excellent T-shirt to commemorate the comrades of the British battalion of the International brigade.
Seventy years ago this week the British battalion fought in their first battle at Jarama. Volunteers from the British Isles totalled 2,300, of whom 525 died in Spain.
The 16th British Battalion was formed in December 1936 from new arrivals plus veterans of the battle for Madrid. It comprised volunteers from Britain, Ireland and from various Commonwealth countries and beyond.
The battalion was formally integrated into the Spanish Republican Army in January 1937 as part of the 15th International Brigade, itself part of the 35th Division. Initially it was named the Saklatvala battalion, after the Indian Communist MP for Battersea, but the name never caught on and it was known in Spain as ‘el batallón ingles’. From November 1937, following a reorganisation of the Republican Army the British Battalion became the 57th Battalion. It was withdrawn in October 1938.
The anniversary T-shirt features a superb reproduction of the British Battalion's original banner, the slogan reads 'Freedom, Democracy, Peace' with battle honours listed including Jarama, Brunete and Ebro.