"Fleeing Franco" by Hywel Davies

Posted on 9 September 2010

Basque children fleeing fascism

Packed on an old cruise liner leaving Bilbao for Southampton, 8862 Basque children left their parents behind to flee their country amid the chaos which ensued following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1937.

Fleeing Franco by Hywel Davies (due for release in February 2011) tells the story of the Basque children who came to Wales during the turmoil of Civil War, following the horrors of the mass aerial bombardment of Guernica (in Basque Country) carried out by the German Luftwaffe.

Throughout the summer children were dispersed to camps throughout Britain. Four of those “colonies” were in Wales, Brechfa in Carmarthenshire, Sketty Park in Swansea, Old Colwyn in north Wales and Caerleon. The welcome they received here was a mixture of hostility and kindness. In Brechfa (Carmarthenshire) there was a notorious incident that confirmed the reluctance of many to accept exiles, while elsewhere in Wales there were many examples of great generosity.

This groundbreaking new title is documents the experiences of the exiled children and serves as a work of record for historians while being written in an accessible style to appeal to the general reader. Moreover the text immortalises the testimony of the surviving “children” by interweaving interview material with a flowing narrative.

The subject matter of Fleeing Franco will appeal to a wide general readership. The themes of exile and escape from conflict have an obvious contemporary resonance.


Notes to Editors

Fleeing Franco: How Wales Gave Shelter to Refugee Children from the Basque
Country during the Spanish Civil War by Hywel Davies -
£14.99 | PB| 9780708323366 | 192 pages | 234x156 mm – release date: February 2011

For more information on the University of Wales Press visit: www.uwp.co.uk

For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales: t.barrett@wales.ac.uk
02920 376991


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