Helen Graham – Border Crossings: Thinking about the International Brigaders before and after Spain

Royal Holloway Department of History

Date: Thursday 3 December
Windsor Auditorium

speaker_HelenGrahamHelen GrahamBorder Crossings: Thinking about the International Brigaders before and after Spain

Professor Helen Graham will deliver her inaugural lecture, Border Crossings: Thinking about the International Brigaders before and after Spain in Windsor Auditorium on Thursday, 3 December 2009 at 6pm. The International Brigaders fought for the democratic Republic during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), later forming the core of early World War II Resistance movements. This lecture explores their origins in the broader history of the 20th century European diaspora; their significance as the antithesis of Hitler’s New Order; and their lives of perpetual border-crossing as a definition of dynamic social change.


Helen Graham:



accompanying images:

share this entry:
  • Duncan Longstaff

    Hello Professor Graham,
    I have just listened with interest to your lecture on the internet.
    My name is Duncan Longstaff and my father Johnny Longstaff was a veteran of the British Battalion of the International Brigade, he was incidently 17 years of age when he volunteered although he lied about his age when recruited.
    I am currently working on his written memoirs and incorporating his oral records of the S.C.War and WW2 held by the Imperial War Museum.
    During the second world war my father served in the 7th Rifle Brigade and fought from El Alamein throughout North Africa until victory in Tunisia. He then fought from Taranto throughout Italy to Austria. Sometime during the North African and Italien campaigns he was parachuted into Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia helping with the formation of Partisan groups in these countries and meeting up with some of his fellow IB veterans in these countries, this is from an article printed in El Pais in the nineties. My father does not recount these events in either his written or oral accounts of his life, the reason being was that he told me many years ago that “he was used” and what he had to do embarrassed hiim.
    Do you know of the events in these countries during WW2 or know of any experts who may be able to assist me in my researches in finding out what my dad might have been up to.

    Also will you be holding any further lectures on the Spanish Civil War.

    Best regards

    Duncan Longstaff

  • Ron Cookson


    I knew your father well and held him in great esteem.

    I was married to Carolyn Ryalls at the time. Her father, Alan Ryalls, and yours were close friends.

    I would be greatly interested in hearing the accounts of his war experiences when they have been completed.

    Best regards

    Ron Cookson

  • Duncan Longstaff

    Hello Ron,
    I remember you well, sorry not to have responded to you earlier. my email address is duncanlongstaff@btinternet.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards

    Duncan Longstaff