Playing Brechfa Village - The Guernica Children

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On 26 April 1937 German bombers sent by Hitler destroyed the town of Guernica in the Basque country. It was a busy market day in the town and thousands of people were killed. A fund was set up in Wales to raise money for the Basque children.The events at Guernica led to four thousand refugee Spanish children arriving in Britain. Houses were set up for them in Caerleon, Swansea, Old Colwyn and at the Forestry camp in Brechfa. The video on this page is the section of the film that deals with the children who came to Brechfa.

The Brechfa camp and the events that happened in Brechfa are by no means representative of the accommodation provided and what happened to the children who came to Britain. The Brechfa clip is presented only as an historical event relating to Brechfa.
Thanks go to the following for allowing reproduction of this section of the film

Director/Producer - Steve Bowles. Video sequences © Steve Bowles
© Basque Children of '37 Association
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive - Cyril Arapoff
© Soibelman Collection, Visual Studies Worskshop, Rochester NY, USA


The History Channel

A very good video, featuring the story of the Guernica Children can been seen on the History Channel pages  [The full-length feature will be shown on Mon March 30th at 9:00pm and Tue March 31st at 12:00am]

It's interesting to note the program information, as it is written on the History Channel page:

The British Government did not want them here and it was only the pressure of public opinion that forced the Government, grudgingly, to allow the children to come. The children expected their stay to be brief, but the Civil War dragged on. Throughout their time in Britain, they were cared for, fed and housed by the efforts of a vast voluntary organization - an extraordinary display of selfless humanitarianism. By the end of the Spanish Civil War many of the children had literally nothing and nobody to go back to and remained in Britain for the rest of their lives. 


Seventy years on we hear the remarkable story of the Basque children - of those that returned to Spain and those that made Britain their home. It is the story of both the remarkable grass-roots organization that cared for the children and the conflict that resulted with the British Government as a result of them seeing the children as a political embarrassment.

Pound Pup Legacy