Togwell Walter “Wally” Levi

Walter "Wally" Levi Togwell

Togwell was born on 18th March 1913 in Lancing Street, Euston, London. He became a waiter and joined the Young Communist League (YCL) in the 1930s.

On joining the International Brigade, he arrived in Spain May 1937 and was sent to the Jarama front and was later at the battles of Brunete and Ebro. Wally became promoted to rank of Lieutenant, albeit only semi-officially and was withdrawn from Spain along with all other International Brigadiers in December 1938.

Wally Togwell gave some details of how the famous civil war song `Jarama’ came to be written: "Alec McDade was credited with being the author of the song named Jarama Valley, to the tune of Red River Valley. I remember when he and several other lads were rounding the corners off the words as the song was finally being shaped. I can vouch for the fact that it was actually composed in the trenches of Jarama."

Wally Togwell died in Borehamwood, Herts in the year 2000.

Michael Walker

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