Obituary: Dame Janet Vaughan

FURTHER to the obituaries of Janet Vaughan (by Barbara Harvey, Professor Louise Johnson, Evelyn Irons, Janet Adam Smith and Shirley Williams, 12 and 14 January), we surviving members of the International Brigade would like to take further the reference to her 'good fight against poverty and social injustice' and her 'socialist convictions', writes Patience Edney.

British committees against injustice are one of the glories of our liberal traditions and the Spanish Medical Aid Committee, formed in July 1936, the very month the Spanish people refused to accept Franco's rebellion, exemplifies this. Within a month the money was raised for a 30-strong unit of doctors, nurses, drivers, and stretcher bearers; ambulances and trucks were sent. Janet Vaughan was a doughty member of that committee. Her blood banks for London echoed her knowledge of the bottled blood used for battle and air-raid casualties in Spain.

In 1983, when the International Brigade Association decided to have an appeal to raise a London memorial, Janet Vaughan sponsored this appeal and in her speech at its unveiling moved our hearts by her memories of those bitter days when the Spanish people stood almost alone against the Hitler and Mussolini regulars. Janet Vaughan did not forget.

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