Lenan Norris was a volunteer from British Columbia. He immigrated from England to Canada in 1920. He was affiliated with the Young Communist League, the Communist Part of Canada, the Canadian Labour Defence League, and the Relief Project Workers' Union. Before travelling to Spain, he served with a Canadian Militia.
Claude "Clive" Nash was born in 1918 in Camrose, Alberta. A logger and farmer, Nash was a stretcher bearer and rifleman with the Mac-Paps in Spain. He served with the Canadian Army in WWII and died in 1998. Nash served in the Ebro Offensive and during the Retreats, and was WIA in the leg at Gandesa in April 1938, recovering for a month at Mataro.
The volunteer of the week is William Brennan of Toronto. Born in 1917, he served on the National Bureau of the Communist Party from 1933, and worked as a plasterer. His account of the Battle of Brunete was included in the Book of the XV Brigade. While recovering from a wound, Brennan worked with the Historical Commission of the International Brigades in Albacete, the organization which collected much of the information we have about the volunteers.
Thomas Danek was a Ukrainian Canadian volunteer. He was an electrician and a member of the Communist Party of Canada. Danek served the Republican effort as a telephonist with the Washington battalion, and fought at Jarama, Brunete, and Aragon with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion. After the war, he served with the Canadian Army during the World War II, was taken prisoner at Dieppe, and imprisoned for at least two years. In 1951, Danek was shot and killed by police while attempting an armed robbery.
The volunteers of the week are Stanley Vernon and Mike Velichko, two Canadian volunteers who survived their time in Spain but died while participating in RCAF bombing raids in 1944 over Borsdorf, Germany. Pictured is Vernon, who served with the Lincolns.
We don't have many details about Velichko's life. He lived in Winnipeg and worked as a miner in Canada. He was born around 1902 and was either Ukrainian or Hungarian. In Spain he was wounded, and returned to Canada in 1938.
Roger Bilodeau was a French Canadian volunteer. He also worked as a pilot and as an office worker. He arrived in spain in the spring of 1937, and served with the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. He was a section commander of thr first Canadian section of the International Brigades, and he also worked in the medical service. Bilodeau was a awarded a watch for bravery at Jarama for brining in "a number of wounded comrades." He survived the war and returned to Canada in July 1938.
Bartflom Dmitruk, also known as Bart or Bert, was a Ukrainian Canadian volunteer. He immigrated to Canada in 1927. He was a lumber worker and lived in Manitoba and Northern Ontario. In Spain, he served in the 129th Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Battery. He survived the war and was awarded the International Brigades Medal in January 1939. He returned to Canada a month later.
Patrick O’Mahony was a volunteer from Calgary, Alberta. He was educated at a Jesuit College. He served with the Canadian Army during the First World War, and spent several years in hospital after being gassed in France. In Spain, he served with the British Battalion. He was possibly wounded in action, but his fate is unclear.
David Harvey was a Scottish Canadian volunteer from Vancouver, British Columbia. Before traveling to Spain, he served with in the British Army as an acting Corporal with the Royal Scots. In Spain, his ear drums were damaged during an aerial bomb attack. He survived and returned to Canada, and likely went on to serve with the Navy during the Second World War. A David Harvey was listed as "lost" when his ship was sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic.