Two IB-themed 75th anniversary events in Spain

February 24, 2013

Alan Warren writes announcing two 75th Anniversary events concerning the XV Brigade and the Great Retreats, to be held on March 30-31.

  • Saturday 30th March 2013: The 75th anniversary March to remember the Retreat of the Lincoln Washington battalion between March 31st and April 2nd 1938 and the death of, among many others, Robert Merriman, tarting in Batea and finishing in Corbera.
  • Very early on Sunday 31st March 2013: a small commemoration  at Calaceite where the British Battalion was ambushed by the Italian CTV.

On Saturday 30th March, a commemorative Walk to remember the 75th anniversary of this part of the Retreat under the guidance of Catalan historian Anna Marti, has been organised from Batea to Corbera (a walk of 30 km/20 miles) following the approximate route made by the Lincoln Washington Battalion in 1938 during their Retreat. The starting point will be at Venta de San Joan, north of Batea, at 9:00 in the morning (directions on request). The route is divided into different stages, for those who only want to do part of itinerary. It will also have a four wheel drive vehicle to pick up those who feel tired. Various memoirs will be read and discussed at relevant points on the walk, and Anna Marti will be happy to discuss her research while on the walk. The walk should end at Corbera at about 6.00pm with a vehicle to take drivers back to collect their cars from the start point. All are welcome to join this Walk.

It is necessary that participants bring appropriate shoes, clothing and picnic lunch and to have informed that they wish to join the walk by sending an email with the number of attendees to Alan Warren at

Please note that this is just an informal walk and not organised as such. You will have to be responsible for your own health and safety on the walk. But you will be in good company!

Sunday, 31st March 2013. 75th Anniversary commemoration of the ambush of the British Battalion at Calaceite.

A rededication of the Memorial to the British Battalion at Calaceite with Alan Warren will take place at 0700 (!!!) on Sunday 31st March on the same date and at the same time as the action 75 years ago. This will just be a small event, and afterwards breakfast in the village. Later the memorial to Robert Wardle and James Bentley in Calaceite cemetery will be visited to place some flowers there. The rest of the day can be spent visiting other relevant locations connected with the route of the Retreat of the XV Brigade to the Ebro for those interested (including Hill 481 from the Ebro Battle, which was where Walter Gregory and Malcolm Dunbar with other brigaders held a line of defence in April 1938 before retreating to Cherta!). Directions can be provided and advice on places to stay can also be offered. This will need individuals to make their own way by car to the area as I will be coming from Teruel with the son of an American Brigader the week before. The Ebro Battlefield is also possible to visit as it is right next door. I will be on the Ebro until April 2nd exploring various locations on the Ebro battlefield if people wish to tag along, depending on their interests.

Directions for both events can be provided on request to those who wish to attend by writing to Alan Warren on

We look forward to seeing people over this important weekend.