Humberside

Hull man's Spanish Civil War postcards show 'powerful images'

Postcard from Spanish Civil War Image copyright Andrew Young
Image caption The postcards were sent by Joe Latus from the fighting in Spain

A collection of postcards sent by a Hull man who fought in the Spanish Civil War show "powerful images" from the conflict.

The 15 propaganda postcards were sent by Joe Latus, who joined the International Brigade in the 1930s.

An estimated 4,000 people from Britain and Ireland fought against General Franco's forces between 1936 and 1939.

The cards were sent to his friend Arthur Ledger, care of the Socialist Youth Club in Hull's Grey Street.

Postcard from Spanish Civil War Image copyright Andrew Young
Image caption The cards are still in good condition and were addressed to a political youth club
A group of socialists in 1930s Hull Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Joe Latus, fist raised third from right on back row, in group including some of the other volunteers who fought in Spain

Andrew Young, of Hull International Brigades Memorial Group, said: "The cards are still incredibly powerful and visually reflect the artwork and culture of the times.

"They are the posters of the day and of democracy.

"Joe fought on the side of the democratically-elected government and the postcards show small versions of the art used to get their message across."

Postcard from Spanish Civil War Image copyright Andrew Young
Image caption The postcards were intended to gain support for the Republican side

Eight men from Hull are known to have fought in Spain.

Four of the men, Jack Atkinson, Jim Bentley, Morris Miller and Robert Wardle, died in the conflict.

Joe Latus, Richard Mortimer, Sam Walters and Bert Wilson all returned.

Mr Latus returned to a career in the Merchant Navy and took part in the Dunkirk evacuation in World War Two.

He later became a director of rugby league team Hull FC and died in 1974 at the age of 62.

Postcard from Spanish Civil War Image copyright Andrew Young
Image caption Fighting started after the Spanish military staged a coup in 1936 against the elected Republican government

The postcards had been kept safe by Arthur's son, Duncan Ledger, who now lives in Oxford. He sent them to on Mr Young.

Mr Young said: "Arthur, the recipient, was a friend of Joe's. He had hoped to join him in Spain but his father was not happy with that and instead sent him away to study at Ruskin College".

It is now hoped the cards will find a place in a Spanish Civil War archive, added Mr Young.

Postcard from Spanish Civil War Image copyright Andrew Young
Image caption Hundreds of thousands of people died before Franco's Nationalists triumphed in spring 1939

All images copyrighted.

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