Literature – Our Fathers Fought Franco book launch

Our fathers fought franco

Event Date:

June 12, 2023

Event Time:

5:30 pm

Event Location:

Portcullis House

Literature – Our Fathers Fought Franco book launch

Luath Press and the authors of Our Fathers Fought Franco are extending an invitation to the London launch of their book, hosted by Douglas Chapman MP and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia. 

Event details:
Date- Monday 12th June 2023
Time- 6pm
Venue- Portcullis House, 1 Victoria Embankment, London, SW1A 2JR

A resonant piece of working-class history, this book is a living link to four extraordinary stories. Why did these young men put their lives on the line and go to Spain to fight with the International Brigades? How did they all end up in the same prison cell? And what is their legacy today?

James Maley, George Watters, Donald Renton and Archibald Williams were members of Machine Gun Company No. 2 of the XV International Brigade. This is the first book to focus on a small group of men who, from different starting-points, ended up on the same battleground at Jarama, and then in the same prisons after capture by Franco’s forces.

Their remarkable story is told both in their own words and in the recollections of their sons and daughters, through a prison notebook, newspaper reports, stills cut from newsreels, interviews, anecdotes and memories, with a foreword by Daniel Gray, author of Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War.

Our Fathers Fought Franco is a collective biography that promises to add significantly to the understanding of the motives of those who ‘went because their open eyes could see no other way’.


An extraordinary example, and an unforgettable, essential book. – ANGUS REID, The Morning Star

 In telling the life stories of their fathers – ordinary working men who chose to do an extraordinary thing – the care with which each author constructs their chapter bears moving witness to the love and pride each feels for his or her parents […] This book is a fine tribute to them and their comrades. LESLEY ORR, Bella Caledonia

 This wonderful book tells the story of four Scots who volunteered to fight in Spain against fascism in the 1936-9 civil war. They were all captured on first entering combat at the Battle of Jarama in February 1937, spending a grim time in General Franco’s prison camps and jails, before being repatriated to Britain, having been exchanged for captured fascist Italian troops. We owe a debt of thanks to the four men and to Willie, Jeannie, Tam and Lisa for giving us the accounts of their lives. This book deserves to be read and treasured. CHRIS BAMBERY, Counterfire


All welcome. Tickets include either a copy of Our Fathers Fought Franco or Homage to Caledonia at a special reduced price which will be available for collection at the event.

A small number of free tickets are available. Please call 0131 225 4326 to enquire.

 To book tickets please visit:

Please arrive by 5.30pm at Portcullis House, 1 Victoria Embankment, London, SW1A 2JR (Westminster tube) to allow sufficient time to clear through security.

  • Portcullis House
  • 1 Victoria Embankment,
  • London, SW1A 2JR
  • SW1A 2JR

Event Schedule Details

  • June 12, 2023 5:30 pm
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