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Jack Newman (?–1937)

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Jack Newman (?-1937) seaman, volunteer anti-Fascist fighter killed in Spanish Civil War. 

Birth: date and place unknown, in Australia. Marriage: unknown. Death: 26 February 1937 at the Jarama, Titulcia, Spain. 

  • Born in Australia. Served with the Canadian Artillery during World War I. As Palmer and Fox write, “On the Great Lakes, a few years afterwards, he met fellow Australian Ron Hurd” (later secretary of the Seamen’s Union in Western Australia). The two were “mates together in the first Lake Boatmen’s Union, on the Great Lakes”.
  • Hurd and Newman together “tramped America then took ship to Australia, supported the wharfies’ strike, were thrown out of work, [and] joined and helped to lead the struggles of the unemployed in Richmond and other Melbourne suburbs”.
  • Hurd’s union activities took him to Africa. Newman became a seaman and lived at Port Adelaide, South Australia.
  • In December 1936 he went to Spain where he met up with Hurd and the two men joined the International Brigade.
  • “They fought in the early days with the French Battalion, then with the British Battalion” then helped in the battle to hold Madrid’s University City. Newman, Hurd reported, became one of the most popular men in the battalion.
  • He was killed by a sniper at the Battle of Jarama on 26 February 1937 as part of the brigade advance.

Jean Devanny, Birds of Paradise (Sydney, 1945); Nettie Palmer and Len Fox, with the help of Jim McNeill and Ron Hurd, Australians in Spain, (Sydney, May 1948), pp 21 and 22; John Playford, History of the left-wing of the South Australian Labor Movement, 1908-36, BA honours thesis University of Adelaide, 1958, p 141; Jim Moss, Sound of trumpets: history of the labour movement in South Australia (Cowandilla, 1985) p 335; Amirah Inglis, Australians in the Spanish Civil War (Sydney, 1987).

Citation details

'Newman, Jack (?–1937)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

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