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Volunteers of the Week: Ferrer and Zola Mercelin

Ferrer and Zola Mercelin were twin brothers from Montreal, Québec. They were both labourers and students and members of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of Canada, as well as various organizations in Montreal. They arrived in Spain in the winter or spring of 1937. Zola served with the Rosa Luxemburg artillery group, then was assigned to the SIM to do work behind the lines. Ferrer served with the John Brown artillery and as a base clerk, and served time in an International Brigades disciplinary prison. Both brothers survived and returned to Canada. 

Volunteer of the Week: Eduard F. Jardas

Eduard Jardas was a Croatian-Canadian volunteer. He immigrated to Canada in 1926, and worked as a journalist for the Croatian-language Communist Party of Canada newspapers, Borba. In Spain, he was a commander of a Machine Gun Company within the Dimitrov Battalion, and was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1937. He was wounded in action twice, a lost a leg, but he survived the war. He served on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada from 1942-43, and returned to Yugoslavia in 1948, where he lived for the remainder of his life. 

Volunteer of the Week: Emeric Jack Brunner

Emeric Jack Brunner was a Hungarian who immigrated to Canada in 1926. He returned to Europe in 1930, and played football in France for six years with the Marin Athlete Club. He spoke Hungarian, French and Spanish but not English, and he did not have a strong knowledge of Canada. Colonel Kelly refused readmission to Brunner, and he was unable to return to Canada after the war.

See full record

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).

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