Association forthcoming events

21 April NORWICH

Norwich Millennium Library, first Floor, from 2-3pm

'The Forgotten Kindertransport – Basque Refugees in East Anglia'
Talk by Mike Levy. Flyer for the event here …

27 April - 29 April TOTNES

The Dartington Hall Trust, Totnes TQ9 6EL

Carito y Marina: From Bilbao to Dartington

A weekend of events, public discussions and exhibitions on the Dartington Hall estate celebrating the lives and legacy of the Rodríguez sisters, Carito and Marina.

Further details and booking information on the Dartington website and by contacting

Further details here …


Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP 13.30pm - 16.30

The Basque Children in Sheffield and the Spanish Civil War

An afternoon of talks and the opportunity to view the exhibition 'Sheffield City of Protest'

Speakers: Dr James Yeoman, Prof Mary Vincent, Stephanie Wright
(all University of Sheffield) and Simon Martinez (BCA'37UK)

More information at The Musuem web site.


Thornton Antiquarian Society Society presents:

The Reverend John Balmer and the Basque Child Refugees
in Bradford and Keighley

A talk by John Birkbeck (grandson of the Revd Balmer) and
Simon Martinez (BCA'37UK)

The Reverend Balmer was the Chair of the Yorkshire Committee for Spanish Relief and Secretary of the Keighley Basque Children Committee. He was the minister at The Devonshire Street Congregational Church in Keighley. During the Spanish Civil War 24 children came to Bradford and 120 to Keighley. Further details to follow

25 June -1 July SOUTHAMPTON

Floor 4 Gallery, University Library, University of Southampton, Highfields, Southampton SO17 1BJ

From Bilbao to Southampton to Salford

Another opportunity to view this exhibition of conceptual art by Claire Hignett, which was previously exhibited at Salford.


University of Southampton, Highfields, Southampton SP17 1BJ
13.30pm - 16.30pm

The Basque Child Refugees and the Spanish Civil War -
History and Memory

An afternoon of talks to explore the impact of Total War on Children, The struggle for the souls of the children, two Local Studies of the Child Refugees and adults in refugee camps in France, and a personal account of one family.

Speakers: Dr Peter Anderson (Leeds University), Dr Ed Packard (University of Suffolk), Dr Graham Soo (University of Southampton) and Carmen Kilner (BCA’37UK). Further details here …

Tickets can now be booked at Eventbrite.

Other News, Notices & Events

Request for information

We have received a request for information from a Ph.D student at the University of Granada and hope that some of you might be able to help him: "… the issue of the return of the republican exile, whether they are relatives or not of exiles, and want to share their stories."

There is a questionnaire. Read the full request here …

Spanish Crossings author John Simmons
on BBC Radio 4

John Simmons,the author of the novel Spanish Crossings, was interviewed by Richard Coles on BBC Radio 4, "Saturday Live" (go to 41.17 minutes into the interview).

A very nice interview with kind acknowledgement of our association and help given to John. It is available to listen on:

Caireles Martínez Tobalina

Caireles Martínez Tobalina

We have received the sad news of the death of Caireles (Cai). He leaves his wife Feliciana, his son Eloy and grandchildren.

Our condolences to all the family.

More details here …

Agustín Luís Eskubi Urtiaga

Agustín Luís Eskubi Urtiaga

Agustín's daughter, Juanita, has informed us of the death of her father.

Born on 28 August 1922 in Durango and died on 12 March 2018 in Farnborough

Our condolences to all the family.

More details and * funeral arrangements * here …

Folk Duo Na-Mara


We often report on events where the folk duo Na-Mara have performed. The duo - Roberto García (son of a niño) and Paul McNamara have a wide and varied repertoire, but always include songs written by them about the history of the niños.

They act as ambassadors for our association wherever they perform.

These are all good reasons for us to support them and attend their gigs: but the most powerful reason is that they are fantastic musicians and will have you completely spellbound throughout any performance that you may attend!

Here is a link to their programme of gigs for this year and their web site is at

Spanish Crossings

Spanish Crossings

Following on from the success of the hard back edition, John Simmons' book Spanish Crossings is now out in paperback.

If you didn't read it first time round then we can thoroughly recommend that you buy a copy now.

There is a review on our website by Ed Packard here.

Here is a more recent review by another historian, Richard Baxell:

"Based on the true story of the arrival of 3000 Spanish Refugees in 1937, Spanish Crossings convincingly recreates a picture of England, France and Spain during the turbulent and war-torn 1930s and '40s. Elegantly written and well-paced, John Simmons' story of love and optimism is an exciting and rewarding read."

Read this press release here …

The book is available from BooksEtc for £5.39 p&p included.

Changing Lives: 200 years of changing lives and protest

Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP
From 6 February to 1 July 2018

"As part of the theme of unity with national and international causes the time spent in Sheffield by 25 Niños Vascos is explored through a poster, press cuttings, books …"

More on the Museum web site and in this report by Barbara Coombs.

The Gernika Peace Museum

The Gernika Peace Museum Foundation has a long and outstanding history of using the archives of war and atrocities, not only those of Guernica, as a vehicle for understanding conflict and finding a way forward towards peace.

The museum is well worth visiting if you have not yet done so. They produce exhibitions, talks and events throughout the year and although not all will have a direct reference to the niños de la guerra, they will all have that relevant background context.

Two items of current interest are the following:

An exhibition in Gernika at Museum running from 15 December 2017 until 16 September 2018 entitled Memories of Stone and Steel — monuments to victims of the Spanish Civil War and Francoism in the Basque Country (1936 - 2017). Details here …
and an invitation to the opening on 15 December 2017

A brochure by the Education Department of the Gernika Peace Museum Foundation containing much of interest to schools and others. Details here …

For other recently posted and older notices, click here.


In 1937, during the Spanish civil war, almost 4,000 children were evacuated to the UK from Bilbao. Read more …

At first they stayed in a camp at Stoneham and later in colonies throughout the UK. Read more …

We want to remember and preserve the story of these niños de la guerra in their rightful context. Read more …

From the Archives

From Newsletter 4, October 2005

TV documentary "The Guernica Children"

Newsletter 4, October 2005, page 4

This article refers to the first showing on BBC4 of Steve Bowles' documentary.

Natalia Benjamin comments on this in her secretary's report on page 2 in the same issue.

This documentary was later expanded and made bilingual. It is now available from us as a DVD (see our shop).

Read the full article here …

… and three short articles on the Montrose colony you may have missed:

"Basque Children's Colony Montrose"
Read the full article here …

"Background to Montrose colony"
Read the full article here …

"Another Blue Plaque Unveiled!" by Carmen Coupland
Read the full article here …

Latest Articles

by Anna Cordon

report by Barbara Coombs

report by Barbara Coombs

by Richard Graves (Leicestershire Historian, Vol. 52 (2016) & Vol. 53 (2017))

report by Simon Martinez

report by Carmen Coupland

review by Ed Packard

report by Barbara Coombs

To view more articles click here.