After the bombing of Guernica in 1937, the Republican Government and the Basque Authorities organized the evacuation of approximately 20,000 children.
The United Kingdom was one of the countries that offered to host them. Thus, on May the 23rd 1937, almost 4,000 Spanish children arrived in Southampton aboard The Havana, which was escorted through the journey by two British naval ships.
What was going to be a temporary accommodation for some became a forever home for around 250 of those children who stayed in the United Kingdom.
They and their families have preserved the legacy of Havana throughout these years with the creation of the Association of Basque Children BCA’37UK, today chaired by Mr. Simón Martínez.
In memory of this story, a plaque was inaugurated in Southampton this Saturday. As the Spanish Ambassador mentioned, the plaque is an example of gratitude to Southampton and the British people for their generosity.
European democracies live complicated moments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Spain and the United Kingdom have been two of those countries that are supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. The memorial is the best example of solidarity with those who escape from wars.