A Finnish-Canadian volunteer who was active in the Relief Camp Workers Union, the Canadian Labour Defence League, and the Communist Party of Canada. He also participated in the On-to-Ottawa Trek. He had previously served with the Finnish Army. He was wounded in action in Spain, but survived and returned him to Canada.
Robert Lyon Dickie was a Scottish Canadian volunteer. He immigrated to Canada in 1921, and married Violet Woodman in 1928. He fought with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion, but was taken prisoner in March 1938. He was imprisoned at San Pedro de Cardeña, where he was the contact for the Communist Party. He was released during a prisoner exchange in 1939, and returned to Canada soon after.
Read his testimony about his time in San Pedro de Cardeña
Mykhailo Emil Hyduk was a Ukrainian Canadian volunteer. He worked as a labourer and restaurant worker in Innisfree and Edmonton, Alberta. He attended college for a short time, where he studied business. He was a worker for the Communist Party of Canada and a member of the Young Communist League.
Antal Krizsan was a Hungarian Canadian volunteer. He immigrated to Canada in 1937, where he lived in Ontario for only a few months before leaving for Spain. He was killed in action at Brunete in July 1937. Within just seven months, he moved to Canada, travelled to Spain, and died fighting fascism.
Margaret Crang was a lawyer and politician who played a small but well-publicised part in the Republican effort. In 1933, at the age of 23, Crang became one of the youngest people ever elected to Edmonton City Council. Her left-wing politics took her to Europe in September 1936, where she was representing the Albertan wing of the League Against War and Fascism at the Universal Peace Conference. After the conference, she traveled to Spain, and visited milicianas at the front, where she “proudly...fired two shots for the government side” (Edmonton Journal).
Gordon Keenan and Archibald Keenan were brothers from Cumberland, British Columbia. They likely traveled to Spain together, and fought with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion. Gordon was killed in action on July 30, 1938 during the Ebro Offensive. Archibald was wounded in action but survived. He was accused of deserting in October 1938 (around the time most International Brigades volunteers were sent home), and he returned to Canada soon after. Both brothers are commemorated with a plaque at the family cemetery plot in Cumberland.
James Cameron was a Scottish Canadian who lived in Vancouver. He was an organizer in the Fisherman’s Union. In April 1938, he was shot in the ankle, and fell behind as Republican forces were retreating. He evaded the enemy for eleven weeks, but was eventually taken prisoner and sent to San Pedro de Cardeña. He was held in five different prisons, and released in April 1940, but was not allowed to return to Canada. He eventually settled in London, after working for several years in the Merchant Marine.
Marcus Aurelius Chase Haldane was an Aboriginal volunteer from Kamloops and Vancouver, British Columbia. He worked as a logger and diamond driller. He lost a leg in Spain, but survived and returned to Canada. After the war, he married Rita Kyelmo.
Ivor "Tiny" Anderson was a Danish-Canadian who immigrated to Canada in the late 1920s. He worked a lumberjack in Alberta and British Columbia, moving around to find work. He survived the sinking of the Ciudad de Barcelona, but he took his own life after losing his legs during the Ebro offensive.
Our Volunteer of the Week is George Steer: He was born in England, and moved to Canada in 1925. He worked in Canada as a tailor, and he was married with three children. He was a veteran of the First World War. He was wounded twice in Spain, but survived the war. While in Spain, he was expelled from the Communist Party, but "he didn't care."