80th Anniversary News, Notices & Events

This year is the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Habana and its 4,000 children passengers.

We are involved with a series of public events around the UK and in the Basque Country; these are listed below. Details and new events will be added as we receive them so please check the web for full details nearer the proposed date.

Do let us know of other events relating to the Basque niños by emailing: secretary@basquechildren.org

NOW - Tickets are now on sale for the SOUTHAMPTON event at Harbour Lights Picturehouse on 21st June

Buy online at: www.ourscreen.com/film/The-Guernica-Children.
A limited number of tickets are available at £9 each directly from BCA'37 — contact: secretary@basquechildren.org.

More information below.


XII. Jornadas por el Derecho a la Educación: refugiados de ayer y de hoy - Aula Magna de la Facultad de la Educación, Filosofía y Antropología, UPV/EHU Exposición- Centro Carlos Santamaría UPV/EHU, Programme 9.00 am onwards
Includes presentation by Carmen Kilner BCA'37 UK, in Spanish.
Progamme details here & Exhibition details here

NEW! 2nd May - BILBAO

British Council. Azkuna Zentroa - Arriquíbar Plaza, 4, 48010 Bilbo 7.30pm - 20.30pm
Talk "The Basque Children Evacuated to Great Britain (and something about my mother)" by Carmen Kilner (in English).
Seats are limited, so if you wish to attend please contact Barbara.Littlewood@britishcouncil.org

4th May - BILBAO

Euskadiko Artxibo Historikoa / Archivo Histórico de Euskadi en Bilbao - Archivos Euskadiko, María Díaz de Haro 3 48013 BILBAO, 19.00h
Parte de una serie de conferencias, exposiciones y mesa redonda entre abril y noviembre. 'Agur, haurrok / Adios niños'. Participantes incluye Carmen Kilner. More details here …

9th - 23rd May - EASTLEIGH (Hampshire)

Exhibition of BCA'37 UK posters - Eastleigh Library. Swan Shopping and Leisure Centre, Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF
Open 9.30am - 5.00pm Mon - Fri, and 9.30 am - 4.30 pm Sat.
Exhibition by BCA'37 UK of posters telling the history of the evacuation from Bilbao to Eastleigh in May 1937.

20th May - LANCING (W Sussex)

Plaque unveiling by Lancing Parish Council.

28th May - LONDON

Annual commemorative meal for niños and their relatives.
(Note, this event is not organised by BCA'37 UK, for further details contact Luis Jarero at luisjarero@yahoo.com.)

10th June - WHERSTEAD PARK (Suffolk)

80th anniversary event - The Street, Wherstead, Ipswich IP9 2BJ,
1.30 pm
The East of England Co-op is hosting an event to mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of niños to Wherstead Park. The event will start with the unveiling of a plaque by Paco Robles to mark the support given; followed by talks from representatives of the BCA’37 UK, Paco Robles and local historians Adrian Bell and Ed Packard. (More details to follow)

19th June - IPSWICH (Suffolk)

'The Basque children in Suffolk' - University of Suffolk.
Public Lecture by Dr Ed Packard, Department of History.
(More details nearer the time)


'The Guernica Children' - Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Ocean Village, Maritime Walk, Southampton SO14 3TL, 6.00pm to 8.30pm
Showing of Steve Bowles' prize winning documentary, an exhibition and a discussion with a panel consisting of Steve Bowles, Simon Martinez (BCA'37), and Mike Brown from CLEAR, a human-rights organisation working with asylum-seekers and refugees in Southampton today.

1st July - LONDON

Annual IBMT commemoration at the Jubilee Gardens.
Amongst the speakers - Herminio Martínez.

8th July - BRISTOL

Bristol Euskal Etxea
(Details to be announced)

10th July - CAERLEON (Nr Newport, Gwent)

Caerleon Arts Festival, 7th to 16th July
10th July is the 80th anniversary of the arrival of 56 Basque children to Caerleon and the Festival is dedicating a whole day to commemorating this event: talks by Hywel Davies, Eddie Butler and Carmen Kilner; films; a guided walk; our BCA'37 exhibition and other entertainment.
(More details nearer the time)

18th June - 24th September - SALFORD (Greater Manchester)

Exhibition of works by Claire Hignett - Ordsall Hall
An exhibition of works by Claire Hignett based on the story of the Basque children in Salford. (More details nearer the time)

28th August - DUNDEE

Exhibition and showing of 'The Guernica Children' - Dundee Library
(More details nearer the time)

Other News, Notices & Events


It is fitting that as part of our commemoration of the arrival 80 years ago of the 'SS Habana' to Southampton docks, we present on our website the lists of the 4,000 passengers: children, teachers, assistants and priests. This major contribution to our web resources was carried out by Gerald Hoare. Read more here …

Enriqueta Maíz Estéban

We have received the sad message from Carmen Smith of the death of her mother Enriqueta Maíz Estéban on March 29th, aged 95.

Read more details here …

Emilio Aldecoa

A Spanish refugee boy 78 years ago blazed the trail for David Silva and Cesc Fabregas

In Emilio Aldecoa we find what so many refuse to see in refugees - a willingness to give back … Read the full article on The Independent web site.

Arturo Barea

Recognition for Arturo Barea in Madrid

Spanish writer who fled civil war to a British village is honoured in Madrid. Arturo Barea, loved for his books and BBC talks, has had a city square named after him in the Spanish capital near his former school … Read the full article on The Guardian web site.

Natalia Benjamin & Adrian Bell played an important part in finding Barea's gravestone at Faringdon and its subsequent restoration - see pages 11 & 12 of our May 2011 newsletter here.

For other recently posted and older notices, click here.


In 1937, during the Spanish civil war, almost 4,000 children were evacuated to the UK from Bilbao. Read more …

At first they stayed in a camp at Stoneham and later in colonies throughout the UK. Read more …

We want to remember and preserve the story of these niños de la guerra in their rightful context. Read more …

From the Archives

The Culvers household

Newsletter No 8, October 2007, page 8

Photo and descriptions of the children in The Culvers colony as seen by Pirmín Trecu …

Read the full article here …

Latest Articles


by Neil Robson, with acknowledgements to the publisher: The Wandsworth Historical Society

by Mark Phillimore

by Forbes Inglis

by Gary Willis: submitted as part of his MRes in Historical Research, University of London

Simon Martinez

Simon Martinez

To view more articles click here.