AN exhibition is being staged in East Lancashire to commemorate the contributions of the ordinary men and women prepared to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

Several troops from the area, hearing of the injustice of General Franco, signed up to join the International Brigade effort in the 1930s.

Frank Drinkwater, of Valley Street, Burnley, signed up at the age of 23 and was to lose his life to a sniper during the Battle of Brunete.

Blackburn junior doctor Len Crome was another recruit - he joined an ambulance unit and later served with a field hospital in Madrid.

Others like George Buck and John Jolly, both from Nelson, would be wounded in battle.

Another recruit, Frank Welsby, formerly of Rectory Road, Burnley, summed up

Relief collections took place in Burnley, backing the republican effort, and the mayor and mayoress donated 12 guineas.

Burnley-born recruit, Frank Welsby wrote in a letter to his mother: "If in this struggle I should fall you will have no cause for sorrow or regret. Rather pride to know that one of your own flesh and blood fell in order that the common rights of the common people might be materialised.”

The fascinating history of those who ventured out to Spain is captured in a series of displays on the first floor of Burnley Central Library.

Drinkwater is named among a 'roll of honour' and there are accounts of the assistance offered by a women's movement, and details of the medical aid afforded by Crome and others.

One of the contributors to the exhibition is Charles Jepson, from Blackburn, who has been treasurer of the International Brigade Trust.

Mr Jepson and others have also lobbied for a permanent memorial to the Spanish Civil War soldiers to be installed somewhere in East Lancashire, similar to plaques in Bolton, Preston, Oldham and Wigan.