Life after the war

In 1937 4,000 children fled the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and arrived on British shores. This was the largest single influx of child refugees in British history. Marking Refugee Week 2019, we have created an online exhibition showcasing items from our Spanish Collection documenting the children's journey, their experiences and the support they received from the British people, with a unique scrapbook on the 'colony' in Worthing as its centre piece.

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During the period 1937-1939 the majority of the children returned to Spain. The Rebels led by Franco campaigned for the return of the children, but for many this meant more hardship. Some had lost relatives in combat, had parents imprisoned or faced severe food shortages upon their arrival home. Around 250 remained after the war. Some of these made a life in Britain.