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John Cornford (1915 - 1936)

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  • Rupert John Cornford (1915 – 1936) was an English poet, communist and Charles Darwin’s great-grandson. He was a member of the International Brigades and died while fighting fascism during the Spanish Civil War. Born in Cambridge, Cornford was educated at Stowe School and Trinity College. As an undergraduate he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and from 1933 was directly involved in Communist Party work in London. At the start of the Spanish Civil War he briefly served with the POUM militia and then with a machine-gun unit of the Commune de Paris Battalion, and fought in defence of Madrid. He was killed in uncertain circumstances at Lopera, near Córdoba in 1936. A memorial volume to Cornford was published in 1938. 
    Praise for John Cornford (1915 - 1936) '€˜Cornford'€™s life speaks for itself in a way that burns the imagination. The fact that Cornford lived is an important lesson to the leaders of democracies. It shows that people will live and die and fight for democracy if it gives them the justice and freedom which are worth fighting for.'
    Stephen Spender
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