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Spanish Civil War memorial plaque


In June 2011, at a ceremony in the Wellington City Council chamber, a plaque was unveiled by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and the Spanish Ambassador, Snr Marcos Gomez. It reads, ‘In grateful memory of all New Zealanders who contributed to the defence of freedom in Spain (1936-1939) “For Spain and Humanity”’.

The phrase ‘For Spain and Humanity’ was the motto of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee, the largest of the relief organisations that raised funds for the victims of the civil war. ‘For Spain and Humanity’ is also the last verse of the Andalusian Anthem, first performed a week before the outbreak of civil war. When democracy was restored in Spain after almost 40 years of dictatorship, the song was reinstated as the official anthem of the region.

This bronze plaque has now been installed on the Wellington waterfront, a fitting location since several of the New Zealanders who served in Spain worked on the wharves. One of those was Jim Hoy, a member of the British Battalion of the International Brigades who was later elected secretary of the Wellington Waterside Workers Union. Jim’s widow Maureen and his two daughters Dolores and Penny attended the unveiling ceremony in Wellington.

It is the only known memorial to the New Zealanders who took part in the Spanish Civil War.


Main image: Jamie Mackay, 2012

Other image: Mark Derby, June 2011

How to cite this page

Spanish Civil War memorial plaque, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated