Story of Caerleon haven for Basque refugees from the Spanish Civil War to be told
5:10pm Thursday 29th November 2012 in News
CAERLEON’S role in providing a home for Spanish children to escape their civil war will be told in a new television documentary.
In 1937, 4,000 children were sent from the Basque region to Britain as refugees.
Caerleon, along with Swansea, Brechfa in Carmarthenshire and Old Colwyn, were chosen as places to set up the refugee homes.
It was a time of high unemployment and poverty but Welsh people welcomed the children with open arms.
The documentary Wales and the Basque Refugees: The Children’s Stories looks at the stories of some of the 200 or so refugees who came to Wales.
Presenter Eddie Butler interviews three refugees who decided to stay here and not return to Spain.
Josefina Alvarez was 15 when she came to Caerleon, her brother Gerry Alvarez was seven and Jose Armolea was 11 and stayed at the Brechfa camp.
There is nothing now left of the old workhouse in Caerleon which was converted into the children’s home .
All that remains is the name of the road, Cambria Close, where Cambria House once stood.
The documentary also meets Alun Emlyn Jones, the son of John Emlyn Jones, who founded Cambria House.
Wales and the Basque Refugees: The Children’s Stories is on BBC One on Monday at 10.35pm.