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Volunteer of the Week: Robert Lyon Dickie

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

Volunteer of the Week: Margaret Crang

Margaret Crang

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).

Volunteers of the Week: Gordon and Archibald Keenan

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.

Volunteer of the Week: James Cameron

James Cameron

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.

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