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Canadian veterans of the Spanish Civil War seek recognition

The Story


More than 40 years after fighting with the International Brigades in Spain, Mackenzie-Papineau veterans Wally Dent and Ross Russell are back at it. This time, they're at home fighting for official Canadian recognition for their role as the first army to fight the Italian fascists and German Nazis. In 1980, they speak to Take 30 host Harry Brown about their reasons for defying Canadian law by going to fight a foreign war and share their recollections of the war.

Broadcast Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Jan. 18, 1980
Interviewer: Harry Brown
Guests: Ross Russell, Wally Dent
Duration: 7:04

Did You know?


• The Canadian Battalion, which became part of the International Brigades, was named the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, or "Mac-Paps".  It was named in honour of Louis Joseph Papineau, the leader of the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837, and William Lyon Mackenzie, the leader of the Rebellion in Upper Canada in the same year.

• The batallion finally got recognition in 2001. Watch a CBC news report about the dedication of a monument by the Canadian government in Ottawa on Oct. 20, 2001.


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