Gerald Howson (1925-2014)

September 9, 2014

This article appeared in the 37th issue of the newsletter of the International Brigade Memorial Trust and is reprinted here with the IBMT’s permission.

Gerald Howson. Photo Bogdan Frymorgen.

Gerald Howson. Photo Bogdan Frymorgen.

Eminent Spanish Civil War historian Gerald Howson died on 7 June, aged 88. His ground-break- ing study Arms for Spain (1998) revealed in forensic detail how the Spanish Republic was cheated by almost everyone it turned to in its desperate attempts to purchase the vital military hardware denied to it by the non-intervention agreement. Less well known, though just as thorough, is his Aircraft of the Spanish Civil War (1990), now out of print. He was a man with wide interests and talents. He spoke idiomatic Spanish, picked up during his travels through Spain in the 1950s, where he managed to learn flamenco guitar and was an artist and photographer of note. The story of his time living with the gaditanos of Cádiz is described vividly in his The Flamencos of Cádiz Bay (1965), an acknowledged classic. Read Jonathan’s Fryer obituary note in The Guardian here.