Jud (Julius) Colman of 3, Lytton Ave, Cheetham, was a 20-year-old member of the Young Communist League when he and two friends from Manchester travelled to Paris in an attempt to reach Spain in October 1936. They were turned back because they didn’t have the correct identity papers and were also chastised by the Party for attempting to get there on their own.
The next month, however, Jud and five friends finally went to fight in response to a plea for volunteers. “We were the first official group from Manchester to go,” he says. They travelled to Albacete where they joined the International Brigades. Just before Christmas, they saw action on the Cordoba front before moving to Las Rosas, near Madrid.
Colman was then sent, with 100 others, to join the 15th battalion, which fought in the battle of Jarama. “One of the five people I had travelled out to Spain with, Eddie Swindell, was killed there.” After Jarama, he was moved to Brunete, where his friend, Ralph Cantor, was killed as they stood next to each other.
Colman himself was wounded in an accident and had a piece of shrapnel from Spain in his chest for the rest of his life. He returned when the Brigade was finally withdrawn in October, 1938.
Jud Coleman died in July 2002.
Sources: Guardian 10th November 2000;
M Sugarman “Anti-Fascism: Jews who served in the International Brigade”