A battalion of working class Canadians travels to Spain in 1937 to take up arms against Fascism, fighting on behalf of an elected Popular Front government against the might of Mussolini and Hitler. Ronald Liversedge was one of those who went, serving in the fabled Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. He tells that story in a gripping, volunteer’s-eye-view memoir. Who was he? Why did he go? And why did his book only see publication just as the very last Mac-Pap veteran was dying? The Canadian role in the Spanish Civil War remains a subject of compelling and enduring interest.
Ron Liversedge was a self-educated manual worker who wrote Recollections of the On To Ottawa Trek, the first description of what has come to be recognized as a defining event in Canada’s inter-war social history. His memoir of the Spanish war, published posthumously, is a significant addition to the literature on that subject.