Full House at the British Council in Madrid

The subject of the British Council and Word War II Spain drew a large audience to the British Council’s main premises in central Madrid on September 28th.


An enthusiastic  gathering of BSS expatriate  members and Spanish friends listened and watched the young Oxford University academic Marina Perez de Arcos, a BritishSpanish Society scholarship holder,  brilliantly deliver her fascinating findings of her research into the British Council’s origins in Spain (1940-41).


She highlighted the important role played by  the Anglo-Irish hispanist  and founding   director of the BC Walter Starkie in setting up the first major  English language  school in Madrid, and his links with anti-nazi propaganda, and  British secrete intelligence.


The BSS chairman Jimmy Burns talked about his father Tom’s friendship with Starkie, and read an extract from Papa Spy, his  book on his father’s spying activities. He also paid tribute to Starkie’s elderly  daugher Alma, present at the event , giving her a signed copy of his book and naming her an honorary lifetime  member of the BSS.


The event was  jointly supported as part of their partnership by the BSS and the British Council.