The bravery and self-sacrifice of ordinary folk who chose to resist Fascist dictatorship and defend democracy has created a heroic legend that is well justified, but at the time the civil war tore Spanish society apart at the roots: Michael Portillo's father, for example, fought for the Republic, but all his uncles fought for Franco - tragically, such family ruptures were not uncommon, often without any reconciliation afterwards.
A special beer called Brigadista will be brewed to commemorate the start of the war by Durham-based microbrewery Black Hill Brewery, which was set up by ex-miner Chris Graham. It will be dedicated to all the women and men who travelled to Spain to fight for the Republican side against Franco, and will carry the slogan of the Spanish Republicans: ¡No pasarán! (They shall not pass!). Made in conjunction with the International Brigade Memorial Trust and Hope Not Hate, the beer will be sold to raise money for the IBMT's campaigning, educational and commemorative work.