Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 20th March 2024

Brave Civil War Volunteers Inspire Poet’s Latest Work

Dr Bob Beagrie
Dr Bob Beagrie
The brave sacrifice made by volunteers from the North East who journeyed to Spain in the mid-1930s to fight the forces of fascism has inspired a new collection of poems by a Teesside University academic.

Published author, poet and creative writing lecturer Dr Bob Beagrie has a new collection of poems based on the local heroes from Teesside who were among the thousands of British and Irish people who volunteered to fight Franco and his fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

Bob has developed his poems into a spoken word piece, which he will perform at the launch of his new collection, Romanceros, an experimental, dramatic soundscape featuring poems with music and sound effects inspired by The Spanish Civil War and the International Brigaders.

There will be an online launch of Romanceros on Friday April 26, marking the anniversary of the bombardment of Guernica, followed by a special performance at The Chapel in Middlesbrough on Friday May 3.

People went to join the thousands from across the world to support the Spanish Republic as they knew that the governments of Europe were not going to stand in the way of the rise of fascism with their policies of non-intervention and it was up to ordinary people to make a stand.

Public awareness of The Spanish Civil War is eclipsed by the breakout of the Second World War, but it is important to keep this history alive and commemorate the ordinary, brave men and women who risked everything to oppose the military might of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini between 1936 -1939 in an act of international solidarity.

This is my own solo work, informed by local historian Tony Fox's research and campaigns in highlighting the importance of the local International Brigaders. I have performed some of these poems at several commemorative events he has organised over the last few years.
Dr Bob Beagrie

The full collection of poems, which Bob has been writing and researching over the last four years, are published by Drunk Muse Press.

People from our region who died while serving with the International Brigade are remembered on a plaque in Middlesbrough Town Hall.

The poems both explore and draw attention to the events of the conflict, when Franco’s Nationalist army staged a coup-de-tat on the newly elected republican Government, the international reaction and the support provided by the International Brigaders who went to fight fascism, despite the official policy of ‘non-intervention’ adopted by most European countries including Britain.

Bob added:
“The poems have a particular focus upon the brave volunteers who went from Teesside and depict the struggles of the men and women caught up in the war that many have come to consider as a prelude to the Second World War.”

He has collaborated with musicians under the name of Project Lono, to develop the dramatic spoken-word performative soundscape which will be performed live at the launch event, along with the chance to discuss the work and purchase a copy of the book.

The soundscape can be accessed at