I am pleased to have the support of First Minister Mark Drakeford, International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan and fellow Labour AMs in establishing a commemorative plaque outside the Senedd in recognition of Welshman, Captain Archibald Dickson, who rescued more than 2600 people from General Franco’s forces in Alicante, Spain in 1939.

The First Minister has sent the following message to the people and Regional Government in Alicante:


Statement from First Minister of Wales, the Right Honourable Mark Drakeford AM on the 80th anniversary of the heroic action of Welshman Captain Archibald Dickson, who saved the lives of 2,638 Spanish republicans fleeing the fascist troops of General Franco on 28th March 1939

To the People and Regional Government of Alicante

There is no greater act of solidarity than when one person risks their life for their fellow citizen.

Eighty years ago, Welshman Captain Archibald Dickson saved more than 2,600 Spanish people amid the chaotic scenes at the end of the Spanish civil war.

Italian destroyers blockaded the Port of Alicante; the threat of German air attack was imminent and Franco’s nationalist forces were approaching.

Only the SS Stanbrook, captained by Archibald Dickson, was big enough to carry such a large number of passengers and brave enough to risk breaking the blockade of the port.

In Wales, we have recognised the contribution made by the many men and women who travelled to Spain to fight against fascism during the civil war as members of the International Brigade.

As a Welsh Government, we today recognise this enormous contribution made by Captain Dickson.

I am pleased to be able to support the establishment of a commemorative plaque close to the Senedd in Cardiff, identical to one in Alicante.

We also send our best wishes to the people of Alicante as we remember those who fought for justice and democracy.

Mark Drakeford