Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2021-01-05

A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War: An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion

Document type Book
Author Stephens, D. P. (Douglas Patrick)
Series Editor Canadian Committee on Labour History
Editor Rennie, Rick
Publisher Canadian Committee on Labour History; St. John's, Nfld.
Date 2000
ISBN 1894000021
Pages 119 p., ill.


A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War is one man's bittersweet account of fighting with the International Brigades against the forces of General Francisco Franco in Spain from 1936 to 1939. Douglas Patrick (Pat) Stephens was born in Armenia in 1910 and emigrated with his family to Canada in 1926. Like countless others, his dream of finding a new and more prosperous life was severely shaken by the onset of the Great Depression, and he turned to the Communist Party of Canada in an attempt to combat the political and economic deterioration which had gripped much of the world. Franco's attempt to overthrow by military force the republican government of Spain seemed to Pat Stephens the ideal opportunity to put his political convictions into action. Through his connections in the Communist Party, he became one of some 1400 Canadians, and 40,000 International Volunteers in all, who went to Spain. Many of the volunteers, including the Canadians, went to Spain against the laws and the wishes of their governments. Many of them never came back. Stephens' memoir, dictated to his wife Phyllis Stephens shortly before his death in 1987, puts a very human face on this strange and complex war. It is a portrait of political and moral conviction tinged by creeping disillusionment. It is also a compelling depiction of the strength, frailty, doubt, and courage which can result from the sometimes incongruous intersection of the personal and the political. A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the conflict which immediately preceded World War II, and of Canada's role in that conflict. -- Publisher's description


Available online as PDF ebook.

Includes bibliographical references.

Statement of responsibility: D.P. (Pat) Stephens ; edited and with an introduction by Rick Rennie.