Our volunteer of the week is Edgar Lemke, born in Russia in 1883. He served in the anti-Bolshevik British Expeditionary Force to North Russia before moving to Canada in 1924. A member of the Co-operative Commonwealt Federation in Canada, he joined the Communist Party of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Lemke spoke English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Norwegian, and spent much of the war acting as a translator and secretary for various units, including the Mac Paps and a Russian armoured unit.
Our volunteer of the week is Franjo Koscic, who was born in Croatia in 1902. Koscic served in the Royal Yugoslav Navy for two years, and was a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia before immigrating to Canada in 1925. He served in anti-tank and artillery battalions in Spain, where he was wounded in action. He returned to Canada after the war, and died in Rijeka, Yugoslavia in 1968.
Our volunteer of the week is Mykhailo Hondorf, a Ukrainian-Canadian from Montreal who was born circa 1915. A member of the Young Communist League, Hondorf was one of the 165 passengers, including 65 international volunteers, who died when the Ciudad de Barcelona was torpedoed on 30 May 1937. The Ciudad de Barcelona was sailing from Marseille to Spain when it was attacked by an Italian submarine and sank in just a few minutes.
Our volunteer of the week is Charles "Chick" Friend of Hamilton. Born in 1910, Friend worked in textiles and joined the Communist Party of Canada in 1935, later working for the party's newspaper, the Daily Clarion.
Our volunteer of the week is Thomas “Pop” Cochrane, of Windsor, Ontario, and Belfast, Ireland. Cochrane was the oldest Canadian volunteer, born 12 October, 1885. He was married and was the father of 6 children.
Cochrane worked as an auto worker and electrician in Windsor. He was a member of the Communist Party of Canada, an organizer with the National Unemployed Association, and a member of the Canadian Labour Defence League.
Our volunteer of the week is Alfred Brugere, a French Canadian. He worked as a construction worker in Paris, France. He arrived in Spain Nov 1936 and served in the Commune de Paris Battalion, Machine Gun Co. He was killed at Jarama in February of 1937.
Our volunteer of the week is Jules Paivio. Born into a socialist Finnish family in Ontario in 1917, Paivio was the last surviving Mac Pap when he died in 2013. Jules' father, Aku Paivio, was a prominent Finnish Canadian socialist journalist and poet who composed the poem "To My Son in Spain" when Jules volunteered.
In honour of International Women's Day, our volunteer of the week is Florence (Tew) Pike, a nurse who joined the Communist Party of Canada in January 1937. In addition to her training as a nurse at Toronto Western Hospital, Pike also studied public health at McGill University. Pike was one of two Canadian women who officially joined the International Brigades, and she was head nurse at an English hospital near Albacete from September 1937. She left Spain for the United Kingdom due to illness, and worked as a civilian nurse in London during World War II.
Joshua Ward Cluny was a gardener and longshoreman who served as a stretcher bearer/scout with Company 3, Section 2 of the Mac Paps. He was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick, a few kilometres away from the birthplace of Prime Minister RB "Iron Heel" Bennett. Cluny survived and returned to Canada in 1938. See record.
Terrence Cunningham of Vancouver was a miner, logger, and resident of the relief camps for unemployed men. He served with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion, and was rejected from the Canadian Army during World War II because of his service with the International Brigades. See Record