Story of Caerleon haven for Basque refugees from the Spanish Civil War to be told

REFUGEES’ STORY: Eddie Butler at the site of the former Cambria House, Caerleon

REFUGEES’ STORY: Eddie Butler at the site of the former Cambria House, Caerleon

First published 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.

Comments (2)

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5:41pm Thu 29 Nov 12

BrianMorgan says...

That's absolutely incredible - a name I have not seen for 58 years - I worked with Jerry Alvarez in my first post university job.

I knew he was a Spanish Civil War child refugee, but he did not go into details. Now I will get to know more of his story and his family's.
That's absolutely incredible - a name I have not seen for 58 years - I worked with Jerry Alvarez in my first post university job. I knew he was a Spanish Civil War child refugee, but he did not go into details. Now I will get to know more of his story and his family's. BrianMorgan
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Fri 30 Nov 12

welshguy says...

BrianMorgan wrote:
That's absolutely incredible - a name I have not seen for 58 years - I worked with Jerry Alvarez in my first post university job.

I knew he was a Spanish Civil War child refugee, but he did not go into details. Now I will get to know more of his story and his family's.
Just hope due respect is paid to the late Jack Williams who fought so hard to get these refugees the home they so badly needed in Caerleon
[quote][p][bold]BrianMorgan[/bold] wrote: That's absolutely incredible - a name I have not seen for 58 years - I worked with Jerry Alvarez in my first post university job. I knew he was a Spanish Civil War child refugee, but he did not go into details. Now I will get to know more of his story and his family's.[/p][/quote]Just hope due respect is paid to the late Jack Williams who fought so hard to get these refugees the home they so badly needed in Caerleon welshguy
  • Score: 0

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