Tom Spiller

Tom Spiller, photographed in the late 1930s.

Spiller was a New Zealand communist who fought with the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. He arrived in Barcelona via London, and the steep mountain trails of the Pyrenees, before being thrown into action at Jarama in February 1937. He lost his close friend from Napier Fred Robertson in this battle. Spiller was badly wounded in July during the Battle of Brunete.

After recovering from the wounds received at Brunete he was asked to help the Republican cause by finding fresh recruits for the International Brigade. He returned downunder where he spoke at meetings in Australia and helped form Spanish Aid Committees. He returned to New Zealand but was unsuccessful in his quest to recruit more fighters. He was denied the opportunity to re-join the war when the decision was made to withdraw the International Brigades.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Tom Spiller

What do you know?

RUSSELL WALKER

Posted: 04 Nov 2019

from the Spanish town of Benissa website:
Benissa, Cathedral of the Marina Alta The cathedral of the Marina

During the Civil War, the Church became the Supply Market . It is at this time that there is evidence of a graffiti in the dressing room of the image of the Puríssima, of one of the International Brigadiers stationed in Benissa, the graffiti said "Tom Spiller was here" and was deleted.

Dorothy

Posted: 22 Jan 2013

TVNZ did an interview with Tom Spiller. Is one able to view or purchase a copy?
I hope so.