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FROM BILBAO TO CAERLEON THE BASQUE CHILD REFUGEES OF 1937 by Gail Giles Introduction On the afternoon of 10 July 1937, fifty-six Basque children with their teachers and carers stood on the doorstep of Cambria House, Caerleon. Seven weeks earlier they had left their families, friends and belongings in Bilbao under the protection of the Royal Navy as Bilbao was about to fall to Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. Almost four thousand children had been evacuated on 20 May in an operation that generated considerable support and organisation in Wales from the South Wales Miners Federation (SWMF) and also many other community organisations and volunteers recruited from all walks of life. It was a huge enterprise that eventually involved the British government as well as the Republican government in Spain and was funded entirely through voluntary donations. With courage and determination the children settled remarkably well into their life in Caerleon under the auspices of their exceptional carer, Mrs Fernandez, until they were eventually repatriated or settled in Wales. These Basque children are still remembered in Caerleon today but how they came to be in Caerleon and the details of their stay have become vague memories in the local community. Fortunately memories of key participants have been recorded. It is clear that organisational help at international, national and local level was necessary to bring the children to Caerleon, and provide support for a number of years. The research for this article has uncovered a number of organisations and individuals that made it all possible. Organisations included the south Wales miners, the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), the Society of Friends, Aid Spain committees, the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief (NJCSR), the Royal and Merchant navies, national and local governments. There were many individuals who helped, too, the most outstanding being the Duchess of Atholl (Chairman of the NJCSR), Cyril Cule (Director of Cambria House), Christopher Hill (teacher at Cambria House and historian), Jack Williams (Secretary, Caerleon Urban District Council) and especially Mrs Maria Fernandez, the warden of Cambria House. This is a story of exceptional courage, struggle and determination to help innocent victims of war, but above all else it is the story of children who overcame fear and trauma experienced through war, evacuation, separation from families and home. The courage and determination of the Basque children has been remembered locally with obvious affection, but how they came to be in Caerleon and the details