The last and unquestionably most important part of this International Brigade Collection is this extremely rare Carnet Militar (effectively soldier’s papers) issued by the Spanish Republic to a British member of the International Brigade, John Beaumont. The Carnet is in very good condition with all 32 present and with numerous stamps and entries. His enlistment Battalion number was 1294 and on joining the Brigade was given the number 71140A with the XV Brigade, 11 Battalion, 35th Division.
John Edwin William Beamont was born in Peckham in August 1914 and left for Spain in September 1937 leaving Figueras en route to Tarazona the same month arriving there on the 20th. It appears he had bad eyesight but after training joined the British battalion at Teruel in February 1938. He was severely wounded in the hand the same month at Teruel where he had been assistant quartermaster while with the Battalion. He spent some time in hospital and was repatriated along with other seriously wounded British Volunteers to a Paris hospital in April 1938, his papers showing him departing Dieppe on 19th December 1938
In April 1931 the new Republican Government in Spain began implementing social reforms. They were strongly opposed by the landowners, Catholic Church and traditional elements within the army.
International Brigade History
In the 1933 elections Spain swung to the right and the new government reversed many of the changes. Parties of the left united in the Popular Front and won the 1936 elections. After violent street battles between left and right in 1936, Nationalist army officers led by General Franco staged a coup to overthrow the Republican Government. They were aided by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany which supplied money, weapons, and troops. Britain refused to intervene.
Some 30,000 foreign volunteers, including many from Britain, went to fight in the International Brigades for the Republic.
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