The volunteer of the week is Bill Halliwell/Hallowell. Born in the UK in 1894, Halliwell was a member of the Amalgamated Engineering Union and served in the British Army for six years, including his time in the First World War. He came to Canada in July 1929, living in Edmonton and Vancouver. He arrived in Spain in March 1937. In Spain, Halliwell served with the Lincolns as adjutant commander at Brunete and the Mac-Paps as a Lieutenant and an instructor. He was wounded in action at Brunete and Belchite, and returned to Canada in September 1938.
The volunteer of the week is Joe Miljkovic, who was born around 1903, likely in Perusic, Croatia. Miljkovic came to Canada in 1923 and was a labourer in Port Arthur, Ontario. In Canada, Miljkovic was a member of the Communist Party of Canada, and travelled to Spain in 1937, serving with the Lincoln Battalion. He was killed July 10th, 1937 at Brunete.
Daniel Markowski (David/Don Marfromski) was a French Canadian and Polish volunteer from Val d'Or, Quebec. He worked in a Medical Unit and the Auto Park in Spain.
He may have been a member of the Communist Party of Canada at some point, but the International Brigades' records stated that he should not be allowed to join the party. He was accused of deserting twice, and the International Brigades disciplinary company recommended that he be shot. But this recommendation was not taken up, and he survived and returned to Canada in the winter of 1939. He died in in 1981.
The volunteer of the week is James MacGregor. Born in Doune, Scotland in 1903, MacGregor lived in Vancouver and worked as a miner, railroad worker, and salesman. MacGregor was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, joined a Socialist Party in 1917, was active in relief camp strikes in Canada, and joined the Communist Party of Spain in 1938. He travelled to Spain in October 1937 and fought with the Mac-Paps, serving at Teruel, Gandesa, and the Ebro. He was WIA at Teruel and Gandesa and returned to Canada in May 1939 aboard the Duchess of Richmond. He died in Vancouver in 1967.
Janos Gal was a Hungarian-born Canadian from Lethbridge, Alberta. He only a spoke limited English. In Canada, he was a member of the Communist Party and the Workers' Defence League, and was active in workers' action during the 1930s. In Spain, he served in the Rakoski Battalion, fighting at Saragossa, Extramadura, Caspe and Tardentia. He was wounded in action twice, in August 1937 and March 1938, but he survived the war. He returned to Canada in February of 1939 and eventually returned to live in Hungary.
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.
Sverge "Eddie" Edwardsen of Winnipeg and Telemark, Norway, was a jeweller, a cook, and a Communist Party organizer. He immigrated to Canada in 1925, and was involved in many strikes and demonstrations. He held many different roles in Spain, including publicity director and kitchen staff. During the war, he was wounded in action, hospitalized, reported missing in action twice, but ultimately survived to return to Canada in 1939.
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.