“He’s done his fight…”

February 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm (anti-fascism, blogging, fascism, good people, history, Jim D, left, spain)

This blog has had its differences over the years, with Will Rubbish, but all of us feel proud and humble in joining  him in his salute to this hero:

A witness to and fighter of barbarism



Another witness and fighter of fascist barbarism has passed away — aged 92.

THE LAST surviving Irish volunteer who fought on the Republican side against Franco in the Spanish Civil War has died in London. He was 92.Bob Doyle was born into poverty in Dublin in February 1916.

After being beaten up in street fights with the Blueshirts which left him with permanent damage to one eye, he was recruited into the IRA by Kit Conway, whom he later followed into the Communist Party and the Republican Congress. Conway was killed in action in the Battle of Jarama on Doyle’s 21st birthday, but Doyle was not to be dissuaded from joining the fight against fascism. Among the group he led into Spain was the writer Laurie Lee.

After fighting at Belchite, he was captured at Gandesa by Italian fascist troops in 1938, along with Irish International Brigade leader Frank Ryan. He was imprisoned for 11 months in a concentration camp near Burgos.

There he was regularly tortured by Spanish fascist guards and interrogated by the Gestapo before being released in a prisoner exchange. He enlisted in the British merchant navy during the second World War before settling in London with his Spanish wife, Lola.


Dublin honours veteran of Spanish Civil War

Julian Doyle said his father was a “smiling revolutionary” and that it was great to see everybody at the event. “He’s done his fight – maybe people will pick it up and make a better world,” he said.




  1. charliethechulo said,

    Without wishing to in any way take away from the respect that is due to this hero, I couldn’t help notice the reference to Frank Ryan… a terrible, tragic figure who ended up supporting the Nazis in WW2. Clearly, Bob Doyle didn’t follow Ryan into that trap (he served in the British merchant navy in WW2, after all), but it’s worth noting the tragedy of those whose motivation is “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, like Ryan. But, I repeat: no disrespect intended to Comrade Doyle.

  2. Contradictions « Poumista said,

    […] fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, who died on Valentine’s Day. Will Rubbish and Shiraz Socialist have also paid […]

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