The Colonies

Aston, OXFORDSHIRE - Westfield House (St Joseph’s)

Aston, OXFORDSHIRE - Westfield House (St Joseph’s)
Address:
Westfield House, Bampton Road, Aston, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2BU
Children:
40
Opened:
July 1937
Closed:
1939
Support:
Witney BCC (mainly, together with NJC)
Chairman: Patrick Early
Maestra:
Ma Teresa Mayoral
Auxiliar:
Pilar Merodio
Other helpers:
Edwin Edwards
Cora Blyth (later Portillo)
Luis Portillo
Cook:
Annie Wheeler

Short notes

  • 25 boys and 15 girls arrived at Aston one month after arriving at Southampton.
  • Funding was partly from local groups/supporters, partly from NJC (National Joint Committee [for Spanish Relief]).
  • Ma Teresa Mayoral served from Jul 1937 to Aug/Sept 1938.
  • After Srta Mayoral's departure Pilar Merodio took charge, assisted by the eldest child in the colony Enriqueta (Ketty) Maiz.
  • After closing in 1939, the remaining children moved to Witney.

Articles concerning this colony

Aston, St Joseph's 

Names of Basque children at Aston 

A concert in aid of the Basque children at St Joseph's, Aston — Witney Gazette, 5 May 1939

The Basque Children in Great Britain - The Colony at Aston — Natalia Benjamin

Gloucester Echo 9 September 1937 — Basque Child Adopted

The Banbury Advertiser 14 April 1938 — Basque Children in Banbury

The Berks and Oxon Advertiser 14 April 1938 — Food for Spain

Witney Gazette — Various items from 1937

Oxford Mail & Oxford Times — Various items from 1937-38

Newsletter items concerning this colony

Newsletter No. 1, pages 1 & 2 — Blue plaque at Aston

Newsletter No. 5, page 4 — Summary of 'Radio waves' broadcast

Links to external sites concerning this colony

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme

Oxford Times: "Children of courage"

"The Basque Refugee Children in Oxfordshire during the Spanish Civil War: Politically Charged Project or Humanitarian Endeavour?", by Meirian Jump

IBMT Newsletter, September 2003, page 4, "Plaque unveiled to commemorate Basque refugees"