80th Anniversary News, Notices & Events

This year is the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Habana and its 4,000 children passengers.

We are involved with a series of public events around the UK and in the Basque Country; these are listed below. Details and new events will be added as we receive them so please check the web for full details nearer the proposed date.

Do let us know of other events relating to the Basque niños by emailing: secretary@basquechildren.org

5th - 30th June - Barakaldo

Homenaje a las victimas de la guerra civil. Exposición y programa de eventos.
Más información.

5 mayo Coloquio "Los niños de la guerra 1937-2017: experiencias y visiones a lo largo de 80 años"
Covertura de la primera presentación (1hora 50minutos). Euskera/castellano. Ver aqui


13 mayo "Acto de homenaje oficial" y concierto con "Schola Cantorum Barakaldo, y, Ruaille Buaille"
View at: https://youtu.be/MwO2a4-T3LA & https://youtu.be/_gNt7S_QBEA

1st July - LONDON

IBMT's annual commemoration at the International Brigade memorial, located in Jubilee Gardens, on London’s Southbank, SE1.
Speakers and performers this year include Michael Rosen, Maddy Carty Len McCluskey, Tosh McDonald, Hermino Martínez and Na-mara.
Starts at 1pm and runs for about an hour.
Read more here

8th July - BRISTOL

Bristol Euskal Etxea
'From Bilbao to Britain' by Carmen Kilner. There is some uncertainty whether this event will take place. Please check here on the website for further details if we get them.

9 July - SALFORD (Greater Manchester)

"The Story of the Basque Children of 1937" - Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Lane, Ordsall, Salford M5 3AN, 1:30-3:30pm
Simon Martinez will give this talk, which tells the moving story of the 4,000 children who came to the UK as refugees (including over 100 who came to the Manchester area) from the Spanish Civil War in 1937 after the bombing of Guernica, Bilbao and other towns.

Artist Claire Hignett will then give a tour of her exhibition (see event details above). Free - no booking required.

View full event details here.

10th July - CAERLEON (Nr Newport, Gwent)

Caerleon Arts Festival, 7th to 16th July
10th July is the 80th anniversary of the arrival of 56 Basque children to Caerleon and the Festival is dedicating a whole day to commemorating this event.

Talks by Hywel Davies, Eddie Butler and Carmen Kilner; films; a guided walk; our BCA'37 exhibition and other entertainment.

View full poster here.

18th June - 24th September - SALFORD (Greater Manchester)

Exhibition In Search of the Basque Children in Salford and Eccles - Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Lane, Ordsall, Salford M5 3AN
Salford based artist Claire Hignett has been researching a group of Basque children evacuated from the Spanish Civil War who came to Salford and Eccles in 1937.
Finding stories in old newspapers and talking to people who still remember them, she creates this exhibition to tell this hidden story.
More details …

Report by Simon Martinez on the exhibition

28th August - DUNDEE

Exhibition and showing of 'The Guernica Children' - Dundee Library
(More details nearer the time)

7th October - MONTROSE

Concert with na-mara,laying flowers at existing plaque, BCA'37 exhibition and stall.
(More details nearer the time)

9th October - EDINBURGH

Showing of "The Guernica Children", exhibition, talk, Q & A session.
(Still in planning stages - more details nearer the time)

Other News, Notices & Events


Annual Meeting

The annual comida of los niños vascos took place on the 28 May.

Ten of the children were joined by ninety family members for an afternoon of conversation, remembering, smiles and a few tears, good food and wine.

Thanks to Luis and Amaya for organising this wonderful event. Thanks to Manuel for organising the raffle which raised £315 for the Basque Children Association. And thank you to the staff of the Melia Hotel who made us so welcome.

Click for a full resolution photo

Muchas Gracias, Simon Martinez


BBC Radio Suffolk

Thursday's Lesley Dolphin afternoon show

On the show we hear about 90 year old Paco Robles who was one of the 100 Basque children refugees sent to Suffolk in 1937 to escape the Spanish Civil War. It's a fascinating part of Suffolk history and as part of next Monday's refugee week, Dr. Ed Packard is giving a talk at the University of Suffolk.

The show is 3 hours long and can be listened to through the internet. The interviews with Paco and Ed are from 29.00 - 42 minutes into the programme.

Click here to listen on the BBC iPlayer.

Available to listen to until July 15th

The Herts Advertiser

Roberto García - of na-mara, has sent us this link to an article that appeared 8th June in his local paper, The Herts Advertiser.

Read it here.

BBC Radio Shropshire from Sunday, 4th June 2017

The folk duo Na-Mara were featured on Genevieve Tudor's Sunday Folk radio programme.

The show was recorded the when Na-Mara were in Shropshire in early May and it included Roberto García (son of a niño) talking about the niños and also playing their song 'Only for Three Months'.

The show is 2 hours long and can be listened to through the internet. The Na-Mara part starts just after 31.00 minutes and they perform and chat for about 20 minutes of a 2 hour programme.

Click here to listen on the BBC iPlayer.
Available to listen to until 4th July.

El Iberico

The London based Spanish language newspaper El Iberico recently pubished an article "80 años de los niños vascos en Reino Unido". It includes an interview with José and Olga Osa and Paco Robles at the Centro Social de Mayores Miguel de Cervantes.

www.eliberico.com/el-iberico-177.html pages 6/7.

For other recently posted and older notices, click here.


In 1937, during the Spanish civil war, almost 4,000 children were evacuated to the UK from Bilbao. Read more …

At first they stayed in a camp at Stoneham and later in colonies throughout the UK. Read more …

We want to remember and preserve the story of these niños de la guerra in their rightful context. Read more …

Latest Articles


report by Simon Martinez


report by Simon Martinez

by Neil Robson, with acknowledgements to the publisher: The Wandsworth Historical Society

by Mark Phillimore

by Forbes Inglis

by Gary Willis: submitted as part of his MRes in Historical Research, University of London

Simon Martinez

Simon Martinez

To view more articles click here.