Vicente Blasco Carrillo (1917-94)

Obituary

Vicente Blasco Carrillo (1917-94)

Vicente Blasco Carrillo who died in North Tees Hospital on July 18, aged 77, was one of the last few of the once-numerous Spanish Anarchist emigration in Britain. Born in Barcelona, he was active in the anarchist movement in his youth, being a militant in the 'Faro' group of the FIJL (Iberian Libertarian Youth Federation). After the fascist military coup was defeated in Barcelona on July 19th 1936 by the armed working class, Blasco joined the militia of the anarcho-syndicalist union, the CNT, and fought at the Aragon front in the Durruti column.
When the militias were militarised - partly due to counter-revolutionary movements in the Republican camp, partly to give a better impression to the outside world - Blasco was sent by the CNT to the military academy in Barcelona, where he was made a lieutenant. The CNT wanted to counter the influence of the Stalinists and fellow-travellers busy taking control of the Republic's Army.
When the Republic was defeated in 1939 he joined the tide of refugees who escaped across the border to France. Like some of the others in refugee camps like Argeles-sur-Mer he joined the French Army (Foreign Legion) to escape the deplorable conditions. The French socialist Popular Front government didn't have much to learn from the nazis in this respect. But the French Army needed recruits because the Second World War was about to start.
When France fell to the Nazis, Blasco escaped from Lebanon, where he'd been posted, to British-mandated Palestine. There he was among a group of seventy Civil War veterans (republicans, socialists communists and anarchists) who had escaped with their arms and were now recruited into the British Army Commandos. Captured during the British withdrawal from Crete, he was a prisoner-of-war in Germany for three and a half years.
After the war he settled in Stockton, working and bringing up a family. He never returned to Spain. With our comrade Juan, also a participant in the Spanish libertarian movement and the Revolution, and who later came to know Blasco in the Commandos, as a PoW in Germany and after settling in Teesside, we salute an anti-fascist fighter. Now, as then, MUERTE AL FASCISMO!

Teesside Anarchists