Autobiography of Welsh miner and anti Franco fighter Edwin Greening

Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

From British daily The Morning Star:

A miner doing a teacher’s job

(Sunday 07 January 2007)

From Aberdare to Albacete by Edwin Greening
(Warren & Pell, £12.99)

FIGHTING FASCISTS: From Aberdare to Albacete by Edwin Greening.

PAULINE FRASER enjoys the charming and simply-written memoirs of Welsh miner, International Brigader and teacher Edwin Greening.

From Aberdare to Albacete is the story of Edwin Greening, a Welsh miner who left his home in the valleys to volunteer to fight as an International Brigader alongside the Republican forces in Spain.

This memoir is, however, more than an account of his fight against Franco‘s fascist forces in Spain between 1936 and 1939.

Of the 15 chapters in the book, only four cover the years in Spain. The first eight describe his upbringing and youth in Aberdare.

Born in 1910, the young Greening was working as a miner by the tender age of 14.

1 thought on “Autobiography of Welsh miner and anti Franco fighter Edwin Greening

  1. Translation of the article from El Mundo:

    Poster designer Carles Fontsere dies aged 90

    BARCELONA – the Catalan cartoonist and poster designer Carles Fontsere died on January 4th, aged 90, in the Josep Trueta Hospial in Girona, which he entered three days ago, according to the centre.

    Carles Fontsere (born Barcelona, 1916), who as well as his abilities in designing posters drew comics, made film sets, did photography and artistic design, was best known for his anarchist posters for the CNT, FAI and POUM during the Spanish Second Republic and later Civil War.

    En 1939, he went into exile in France, but later lived in Mexico and between 1950 and 1973 in New York, where he collaborated with Salvador Dali, Mario Moreno ‘Cantinflas’ and met his partner, Terry Broch.

    The artists returned to Catalonia in 1973 and in 1984 was the focus of an exhibition in the Palau de Pedralbes where he recalled his experiences in the Americas, a show that can now be seen in the Caja Madrid Cultural Space in Barcelona.

    Carles Fontsere was involved in the return of the ‘Salamanca Papers’, as all the material which he has in his house was destroyed shortly after the occupation of Barcelona, and he was the creator of the commemorative poster for the Commisio de la Dignitat. The artist only had four originals, all donations from other collections.

    Fontsere, who had been living in Porqueres, Girona, had recently published three memoirs, ‘Memories d’un cartellista’ [A Poster Designer’s Memories], ‘Un Exiliado de Tercera’ [An Exile for the Third Time] and Paris, Mexic, Nova York. Memories [Paris, Mexico, New York. Memoirs].
    Posted by Dave Cole | 15:19, 8 January 2007

    As the widow of Carles Fontsere’s brother, Francisco, I would like to comment on your article. Carles Fontsere’ and his wife (not his “partner”) Terry, lived in Banyoles (Girona) outside Barcelona, on a mountain-top where Carles had built a home and a nearby studio, where he worked on his memoirs, and which was filled with his beautiful paintings, photographs, lithographs, and other art works.
    I didn’t understand your statement “The artist only had four originals, all donations from other collections”. Perhaps it was an awkward translation from an article in Catalan, but Carles Fontsere’ was one of a kind. A lean, strong man, even at ninety, and with all his faculties intact, he was working on the fourth volume of his memoirs at the time of his accident. (A fall down the stone steps of his home, during the night, in late October).
    I remember Carles best from the days in New York when he lived there with Terry, his wife, and we lived in their brownstone for a short time, my husband, Francisco, and I, before we moved to New Jersey to be nearer my husband’s work at Warner Lambert where he was a research chemist. At one point, Carles and Terry lived in a loft in Soho, (on Broome Street?), which Carles had converted into his art studio. As I recall, he was one of the first to convert one of these lofts for that purpose.
    When my husband and I would go there to visit Carles and Terry, with our two children, Carles would make a rope swing for them, give them drawing materials, and make cartoons for them.
    Carles was a genius. He could do anything. He and his wife, Terry, were very generous and caring to me when I was widowed, and I am deeply saddened by Carles’s passing.
    Posted by Helen Fontsere’ | 02:17, 10 January 2007


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