A collection of poems will be launched next month to commemorate heroic Teessiders who opposed and fought against Franco’s fascist regime.

Published author, poet and creative writing lecturer Dr Bob Beagrie’s new collection highlights the sacrifice made by the volunteers who fought in Spain in the mid-1930s – despite many European countries having policies of non-intervention.

The Teesside University academic’s poems focus on “local heroes from Teesside” who were among the thousands of British and Irish people fighting Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War.

He will perform the poems in a spoken word piece at the launch of his new collection, Romanceros – which has been described as an “experimental, dramatic soundscape” featuring music and sound effects inspired by The Spanish Civil War and the International Brigaders.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Bob Beagrie Credit: KEV HOWARD

Mr Beagrie said: “People went to join the thousands from across the world to support the Spanish Republic as they knew that the governments of Europe were not going to stand in the way of the rise of fascism with their policies of non-intervention and it was up to ordinary people to make a stand.

“Public awareness of The Spanish Civil War is eclipsed by the breakout of the Second World War, but it is important to keep this history alive and commemorate the ordinary, brave men and women who risked everything to oppose the military might of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini between 1936 -1939 in an act of international solidarity.

“This is my solo work, informed by local historian Tony Fox's research and campaigns in highlighting the importance of the local International Brigaders.  I have performed some of these poems at several commemorative events he has organised over the last few years.”

The collection will launch online on April 26 to mark the anniversary of the bombardment of Guernica, followed by a special performance at The Chapel in Middlesbrough on May 3.

Mr Beagrie has been writing and researching the collection over the last four years.

“The poems have a particular focus upon the brave volunteers who went from Teesside and depict the struggles of the men and women caught up in the war that many have come to consider as a prelude to the Second World War,” he added.

He has collaborated with musicians under the name of Project Lono, to develop the dramatic spoken-word performative soundscape which will be performed live at the launch event, along with the chance to discuss the work and purchase a copy of the book.

The soundscape can be accessed here.