The Trek That Led to Spain by J. McGrandle

September 28, 2018

The Volunteer for Liberty, V2, No. 25, July 19, 1938

John “Scotty” McGrandle in Spain. RGASPI, Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 559.

John “Scotty” McGrandle in Spain. RGASPI, Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 559.













This anniversary wouldn’t seem complete to me without some mention of the “Vancouver Stiffs” who are fighting side by side with the rest of the International against fascism.

It isn’t strange when one looks back that, for its size, Vancouver is probably the best represented city in the I. B.

The few hundred from Vancouver are comrades who for ten years fought the reactionary British Columbia Government. I can remember the struggles of the single unemployed and the prosecutor reading aloud the charge of vagrancy “Joseph Kelly, you are hereby charged in the city of Vancouver with being a loose, idle and disorderly person and with no visible means of support. Are you guilty or not?” And then the drawling voice of Judge Manson as he passed the sentence: “Two months.”

Then in 1935 the Canadian unemployed staged the historic “On to Ottawa” trek against the pro-fascist Bennet Government.

The organization and demonstrations leading up to this historic trek were done in Vancouver.

It was logical that this trek should finally lead us to Spain. It was the same fight. When the call for volunteers sounded in Vancouver, hundreds of the Vancouver stiffs immediately sent for passports and others were bumming and begging five dollars to that they too could send for their passports to join the fight. Some of our best love unemployed leaders: Jose Armitage, Paddy O’Neil, Wold*, Charlie Sands, have died so that fascism should not reign in Spain. The rest of the Vancouver stiffs don’t intend to let them down. When the final battle is being fought we will find the Vancouver stiffs right in the thick of the fight and they will come through with colors flying.

~J. McGrandle

* I was unable to find a volunteer with this name.

Links are to the biographical sketches on the Canada and the Spanish Civil War site.


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One Response to “ The Trek That Led to Spain by J. McGrandle ”

  1. Raymond Hoff on September 29, 2018 at 11:45 am

    “Wold” is probably Jim Woulfe who died at Belchite.