Events In History
18 May 1937New Zealand nurses detained on way to Spanish Civil War
The only organised New Zealand contingent to serve in the Spanish Civil War were New Zealand Spanish Medical Aid Committee (SMAC) nurses René Shadbolt, Isobel Dodds and Millicent Sharples. Read more...
8 November 1936New Zealanders march into besieged Madrid
Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers which marched into Madrid, bolstering the city's defences against the assault of General Francisco Franco's rebel armies. Both men were killed in battle within two days of arriving Read more...
While New Zealand had no official involvement in the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s, a small number of New Zealanders fought in Spain (six were killed there), or served as doctors and nurses. Many others supported the Republican war effort through fundraising efforts back home.
Page 2 – Background
The Spanish Civil War was primarily a fight between the nationalist Fascists and the democratic Republicans.
Page 3 – Attitudes in New Zealand
The deaths of at least six New Zealanders in Spain went largely unnoticed at home. But some groups within New Zealand saw Spain as more than a ‘far away side issue
Page 4 – NZ combatants in Spain
Short biographies of New Zealanders who fought in the Spanish Civil War
Page 5 – NZ medical support
Several NZ nurses and least one doctor provided medical assistance in the Spanish Civil War
Page 6 – New Zealanders in the Spanish Civil War
List of all New Zealanders who served in the Spanish Civil War between 1936-39
Page 7 – Further information
This web feature was written to coincide with the publication of Kiwi Compañeros: New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War, edited by Mark Derby and published by Canterbury
Cox, Geoffrey Sanford
Just how did a boy born in Palmerston North come to witness at first hand the impact of Stalinism, the rise of Hitler and the Spanish Civil War?Read more...
Maclaurin, Griffith Campbell
New Zealander Griff Maclaurin was one of the first international volunteers to be killed in the Spanish Civil War.Read more...
Shadbolt, Rene Mary
René Shadbolt led the only New Zealand contingent to the Spanish Civil War. She and fellow nurse, Isobel Dodds, cared for wounded soldiers, particularly those from the International Brigades, from July 1937 to November 1938.Read more...
Jolly, Douglas Waddell
Dr Doug Jolly pioneered mobile emergency surgery during the Spanish Civil War. He is described by US medical historian David Adamas as ‘one of the most notable war surgeons of the 20th century’.Read more...