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Andrew Flanagan and the International Brigades

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Andrew Flanagan
                   Edward John Flanagan (Birmingham 1917-1982)

Andrew Flanagan with the British Battalion

Andrew Flanagan whose real name was Edward John Flanagan was born on 20th October 1917 in Birmingham, England.


Edward's family on his father's side came from Ireland. The Flanagans came from Cloomullin, county of Roscommon. James Flanagan married with a British woman, Agnes Flanagan, whose maiden surname was Churchill, both of them were Edward's parents.


Eddy as her mother called him spent his childhood in Birmingham but on holidays he used to stay in Ireland. Edward also was working at the Flanagan's farm when he was 17-18 years old. see the Flanagan's house


Andrew Flanagan in Spain: (as he was known in Spain like Andrew, I will call him Andrew)


December 1936: Andrew was in Albacete and joined on 16th December 1936 in the International Brigades. At the begining of January he had to be sent to Madrigueras one of the training centres villages of the International Brigades and where he met Sagrario Cabaņero.


February 1937: Andrew was sent to the Jarama front with the British Battalion and on 27nd February he was wounded in his left hand. He was sent to various hospitals and one of his letters was sent from Cartagena hospital.  


March 1937: He  left the hospital on 25th March and Andrew came back to Albacete where he obtained permission to marry.


April 1937: On 22nd April Andrew and Sagrario married, after the wedding he stayed on permission for 11 days but he was arrested for not reporting at the Guardia Nacional as he was supposed to go to the front, so he was in jail one month.


June 1937: In jail.


July 1937: He received  permission from the civil authorities to go to Valencia where he remained for three months. The married couple lived in Alboraya for a time.


October 1937: Andrew went to the Medical Comission in Valencia


December 1937: Andrew rejoined in the International Brigades.  Until he left Albacete with the British Battalion, he stayed in Tarazona de la Mancha.


January -February 1938: In Tarazona de la Mancha Headquarters.


February 1938: He was sent to the Aragon front. Sagrario was the last time she saw him. From February to August 1938 we have the great correspondance between Andrew and his wife. In his letters we can read where he stayed and where he fought.


March 1938: Andrew spent a large period near Falset after March retreats.


April 1938: Most of the letters Andrew wrote to his wife were written in April, most of them have the postmarked from Falset. Andrew was sent to the Sergeant's School until 13rd July. 


July 1938: Andrew fougth in the Ebro's battle, on 26th July he was wounded in his throat in Gandesa . He was sent to Matarķ hospital. The last letter which his wife received was from the hospital.


August 1938: In Matarķ Hospital


September 1938: On 15th September 1938 birth of Andrea Flanagan Cabaņero, his daughter .


December 1938:  Andrew  was repatriated to England.

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Working on his coming back to England

Violet Spinning Arrow 12