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John Christie

John Christie is crowdfunding

raised of £6,500 target by 97 supporters

Weʼre raising £6,500 to fund a memorial for the men from Stockton on Tees who volunteered to defend democracy & fight fascism in Spain from 1936 to 1939.

Stockton on Tees, Teesside

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I'm not sure that anything has moved me as much as The Young'uns The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff which tells the tale of Johnny who was born in Stockton in 1919 and was raised by his grandmother.

During the Great Depression he begged for bread on the streets and outside the factory gates in the town, hoping the workers had saved anything from their lunch boxes for the starving kids waiting outside.

At the age of 14, he got a job in the steel rolling mills working 12 hours a day but an industrial accident left burns on his hands and back - and after weeks in hospital, he discovered his job had gone to someone else.

Out of work and too young to claim dole, he joined the hunger marchers leaving the North-east and walking 240 miles to London and sleeping rough on the Embankment when he got there.

Meeting Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany led him to oppose the rise of fascism in Britain, most significantly in 1936 at Cable Street in London’s east end, where a march by Oswald Mosley and his followers was forced back.

Johnny then joined up to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, he was wounded on several occasions and even temporarily blinded. The Second World War saw him sign up again and fight in Africa and Italy and being awarded the bronze star during World War II.

The inequality he witnessed in London changed the way he saw the world. He campaigned for equality and justice for the rest of his life.

Johnny died in 2000 and is buried in Somerset and I and many others want a memorial for Johnny and the other men of Stockton on Tees who volunteered to defend democracy and fight fascism in Spain from 1936 to 1939.

The Brigaders I know of so far are -

George Bright - Thornaby

William Henry Carson - Stockton

Wilfred Cowan - Stockton

Otto Estensen - Thornaby

Joseph Myles Harding - Thornaby

John Eddy Longstaff - Stockton (Johnny's son Duncan is a mine of information)

Patrick Joseph Maroney - Stockton

Bert Overton - Stockton

If you have any information or can point me in any directions I need to be, please share.

Thank you


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    Page last updated on: 11/21/2021 05.14



    • Martin Cohen

      Martin Cohen

      Nov 21, 2021

      Remember those who fought against Fascism, may they continue to inspire. I wish to honor them in appreciation as a Jew, and more importantly, as a human, and a citizen of the world.


    • Anonymous


      Nov 10, 2021

      Beer mat collected from The Golden Smog. Message remains unchanged, but the importance does. We live in dangerous times.


    • Anonymous


      Nov 6, 2021


    • Sandy Mathers

      Sandy Mathers

      Nov 2, 2021

      With thanks to Adam at Baseline! Cheers min!


    • Anonymous


      Oct 30, 2021


    • John Christie

      John Christie

      Oct 7, 2021

      Donation from Freddy Phillips


    • Memorial kit sales

      Memorial kit sales

      Oct 5, 2021


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    About the fundraiser
    John Christie

    John Christie

    Stockton on Tees, Teesside

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