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John Christie

John Christie is crowdfunding

raised of £5,999 target by 169 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,999 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
13 days to go

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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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John Christie

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    3 years ago

    John Christie started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 8/13/2022 20.48



    • John Clifford

      John Clifford

      Aug 13, 2022

      Good luck.

    • MH Library, Minnesota USA

      MH Library, Minnesota USA

      Aug 8, 2022

      Thank you for putting thus all together. Keep our library in mind REGARDING information or assistance regarding the Spanish Civil War. Todd Powell, director, Military History Library


    • Mikko Ylikangas

      Mikko Ylikangas

      Jul 31, 2022

      For a copy of Tony Fox's book and the memorial.


    • IBMT-Durham Gala

      IBMT-Durham Gala

      Jul 24, 2022


    • Anonymous


      Jul 20, 2022


    • Conyers School

      Conyers School

      Jul 10, 2022

      Purchase of a copy of I Sing of My Comrades


    • Anonymous


      Jun 16, 2022


    John Christie

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    About the fundraiser
    John Christie

    John Christie

    Stockton on Tees, Teesside

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