Spanish tribute to Welsh sea captain

A Welshman, who helped rescue more than 2,600 refugees from Spain during the civil war, was this week honoured by the people of Alicante.
Archibald Dickson, captain of the merchant steam ship Stanbrook, risked his life to enter the port as the civil war drew to a close.
On Sunday, his son and daughter, Arnold Dickson and Dorothy Richardson, joined an estimated crowd of 1,000 to hear tributes to their father.
The crowd – which also included survivors from the evacuation – was told that Republicans from all over Spain had converged on the port on March 28, 1939 in an attempt to escape the country as Franco’s troops advanced to victory.
Between 15,000 and 18,000 men, women and children gathered, desperate to flee Spain.
But Archibald Dickson was one of only a few skippers prepared to take their vessel into the port.
The Welsh captain filled his ship and ferried the refugees to Oran in North Africa.
Manus O’Riordan, son of Irish brigader Michael O’Riordan, said 1,000 people gathered in the rain last Sunday on the pier from which the Stanbrook left “to pay particular tribute to the memory of Captain Dickson”.
“For some of the survivors and their children this was a commemoration which, at times, was filled with unbearably raw emotion, culminating in a mass floral tribute to the sea, in remembrance of the dead,” he stated.
Archibald Dickson and his crew were all killed only eight months later when the 1,300-tonne Stanbrook was hit by a torpedo from a German U-Boat off Belgium.

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  1. SOLIDARITY FOREVER!Following the wave of student occpatinos and sit-ins, an even better wave is coming of workplace occupations and other direct action is happening – the media seem to have blackouted the extraordinary occupation of Visteon Car Plant in Enfield.PHOTOS HERE: Nolan, the Convenor of UNITE at the occupied Visteon Car Plant in Enfield may be jailed today as the company seeks a court injunction. Also heard rumour that Bailiffs protected by cops may also be going in today to seize equipment and forcibly evict workers.'Ford Visteon workers occupied the factory since Wednesday 1st April. The previous day in a meeting lasting just 6 minutes we were told that the European company, with plants in Belfast, Basildon and Ponders End, Enfield, was going into administration and that we were to leave – without our wages being paid. Personal possessions could be collected the next day, but at 10 o’clock the factory was locked closed. Workers have also occupied the Belfast factory.'WORKPLACE OCCUPATIONSIn Dundee, 12 workers at the Prisme Factory (some of whom had worked there for over a decade) went into work and were told that their jobs were ending at an hours notice and they would get no redundancy pay. They decided to occupy their workplace to demand justice, the occupation will shortly be entering its sixth week & there is talk of them taking over the factory to run it as a workers co-op a la Tower Colliery. The energy of the movement against the destruction of Gaza – and the alliances built – has fed into the factory occupation with anti-war students visiting the occupation, the President of Dundee University Islamic Society who was part of the delegation helped build links between the occupation and a local mosque who have been making food for the workers occupation which provides an anti-racist alternative to the British Jobs for British Workers crap being spouted by some trade union bureaucrats.Send a message of support: prismeworkerssolidarity@googlemail.comIn Belfast, at a Visteon Car Plant, workers were brutally told that they were being sacked immediately on Tuesday, by the early evening workers were staging protests inside and outside, supporters brought sleeping bags and supplies and the plant is now under occupation by 200 workers.Send message of support: dmcmurray@unitetheunion.comThe protests spread to Mainland Britain with other car workers downing tools in solidarity, and another occupation is now being staged at Visteon in Enfield with workers still on the roof 5 days later protesting jobs cuts. Send message of support: steve.hart@unitetheunion.comMore working class occupations and sit-ins! -COUNCIL HOUSE OCCUPATIONDefend Council Housing activists barricaded themselves in a council house to prevent it being sold off by Lambeth Council earlier in the week. They argued that the council shouldn't be selling off houses when there is a big waiting list for houses and problem with homelessness in the borough.SCHOOL OCCUPATIONSMeanwhile parents at 2 schools in Glasgow are staging a sit-in to prevent closure! A tactic that would have gone down well when LibDems/Plaid tried to close shedloads of schools in Cardiff.Send message of support:

  2. What a fine story; thanks for bringing it to us. And what a fine Welshman. I’d like to imagine he went down reciting some bardic verse pertinent to the event, but it doesn’t really matter if he didn’t.

  3. Comingg up:France’s Forgotten Concentration Camps Monday, May 420:00 on BBC Radio 4Philip Sweeney travels to southern France to investigate a network of concentration camps set up 70 years ago when hundreds of thousands of refugees fled over the Pyrenees after the Spanish Civil War. Since then thousands of others have been detained: Jews, gypsies, Algerians and more recently immigrants escaping persecution in their own countries.

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