SWINDON HERO WHO FOUGHT FASCISM

from Swindon Advertiser

A SWINDON man has been revealed as a hero of the Spanish Civil War.

In this, the 75th anniversary of the conflict in which thousands died, the family of Captain George Fletcher are seeking more information to piece together his past.

Research carried out by Cpt Fletcher’s son, John, 63, also uncovered the fact he has two brothers in the town that he had not known about.

It is thought that brothers Robert and Reginald, aged in their 70s, still live in Swindon where Cpt Fletcher married their mother, whose maiden name was Ferris.

John, who works in Exeter, said his father married his mother in 1939 after serving in the International Brigade, in Spain, as second in command of the British XV Battalion.

“I was startled to learn that my father had been married before and that he had three sons, one of whom, died aged six months,” said John.

“This came to light in research on my father which my sister and I have been undertaking.

“Naturally, I would love to get in touch with my long lost, and hitherto unknown brothers who I understand, still live in Swindon.

“I want to know so much and what happened when his first marriage fell apart.

“The research has turned up a lot of information.

I discovered my father – who never talked about his life – was a hero in Spain fighting the Fascists from 1936 to 1939.

“He was among thousands from around the world who volunteered to fight for the Republicans against the Fascist dictator General Francisco Franco.

“My father was wounded six times, including during his time commanding the British, and was in the thick of most of the battles like Belchite and the Valley of the Ebro.

“It was here he refused to leave the battlefield, despite serious wounds.

“Dad is mentioned in numerous books and I am aware that Swindon probably doesn’t know he is one of their ‘sons.’ “I would love to find out more, because on leaving Swindon he moved to Manchester where he married my late mother.”

From Manchester he joined 60 others, later to be affectionately known as the Band of Brothers.

“I have contacted the Swindon History Society for information, but unfortunately they could not help,” said John.

Anyone with information about Cpt Fletcher or his sons Robert and Reginald, can get in touch with John on 01395 267069, 07730 910454 or by emailing jfletcher.ebro@ btinternet.co.uk.

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