Volunteer of the Week: Thomas Danek

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. 

Volunteers of the Week: Stanley Vernon and Mike Velichko

Stanley Vernon in uniform holding a gun

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.

Volunteer of the Week: Roger Bilodeau

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.

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Volunteer of the Week: David Harvey

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.

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Volunteer of the Week: Reid McIvar

Reid McIvar was a Canadian volunteer from Manitoba. He was a student at the University of Manitoba and also attended business college. He received Officer Training through the Canadian millitary, and was Corporal in Spain. In Spain, he was wounded in action once. He was also jailed by the International Brigades, reportedly for refusing to send men without shoes on sentry duty. He survived the war and returned to Canada in 1939.

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