Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 19:41 UK

Man honoured for civil war fight


Jack Edwards spent almost three years in Spain

A 95-year-old man who fought in the Spanish Civil War has been honoured at a special ceremony in London.

Jack Edwards, of Wellington, Shropshire, received Spanish citizenship and a passport for fighting against General Franco's forces.

Mr Edwards, originally from Liverpool, said he had "wanted to make a real stand" against Fascist forces.

The Spanish Embassy said six Britons and one Irishman were being given honorary citizenship.

An embassy spokesman said the move was decided under the Law for the Historical Memory in Spain.

The law recognises the victims on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, and the victims of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship.

Mr Edwards' hat
An International Brigades' badge is among mementos kept by Mr Edwards

Mr Edwards was 22 years old when he went to fight against the Fascist forces in Valencia during his three years in Spain.

He said he was proud to have fought for democracy.

"You'd had the takeover in Germany by Hitler and we saw what was happening there to the Jewish people who were getting sent out and being put into concentration camps," he said.

"And I thought that it was time to make a stand, a proper stand.

"If need be you were going to give your life over it - but you don't think of it that way."

Thousands of foreign volunteers fought on both sides of the conflict in which about 500,000 people were killed.

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