We use living history techniques to primarily represent life on the front line for the men and women of The International Brigades and The revolutionary militias.
Over recent years we have expanded this to include various displays that have a direct link to the ideals and people who were involved with the creation and defence of the Second Republic 1931-39.
These include ‘Aid for Spain’ events; depicting the fund raising and rallies that went on in Britain in support of the Spanish Republic during the civil war. We also do events around the formation and training of the British Home Guard in 1940, something that a number of Spanish Civil War veterans were involved in. (see The Home Guard, 1940-1944; A People’s Militia? for more detail.)
We believe this is a period of British and Spanish history which does not receive the attention it deserves, and it is our aim to both inform and educate visitors through our events about the struggle in Spain immediately preceding the Second World War.
Off to the front, Murton 2006
Setting off on an ‘Aid for Spain’ march, Crich 2006
We are highly conscious of the sacrifice made by men and women from around the world in the cause of anti-fascism in Spain. We enjoy close links with veteran organisations and have made contact with a number of surviving veterans; in fact any anti-fascist veteran of the Spanish Civil War has automatic right to life membership of La Columna if they so desire. See contacts links for details.
We also have links with our Spanish sister living history group- ¡Ay,Carmela¡ – who we linked up with at the Spanish event in Castellón in October. We have also more recently made contact with a new French living history group La Marsellesa.
In the cave, Stowe 2004
La Columna has various roles to suit everyone: You can become a member of the British Battalion of the XVth International Brigade, or a militiaman or woman from an international section of one of the revolutionary militias. Or take on a non military civilian or medical persona.
Children of La Columna as Basque Refugees
There are also roles for children, for example, at a ‘Aid for Spain’ rally or a Basque children refugee event- remembering the 5000 refugee Basque children who were evacuated to Great Britain. See our links page for more information about Spanish refugees.
We are constantly looking for volunteers to join our ranks in a military, civilian or support role. See our contacts page for details.
We determined to set a very high standard of accuracy in our representations from the outset; all our clothing and equipment are either original items or accurate copies. We assist new members with kit from our pooled supply of spare items until they can gather their own kit together.