Born in 1914, Roy Watts was a delegate to Portsmouth Trades Council and a member of the ILP Guild of Youth. Having moved to Leicester, where he worked in Leicester as a furnishing salesman at the Co-op, and lodging with Roland V Walton (see separate entry) he joined the Young Communist League. He then volunteered to go and fight for the International Brigade in Spain.
In a letter to Roland Walton (see separate entry), he describes some of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War: “I have served and been into action with the anti-aircraft artillery, infantry and transmission units. I have been in most of the territory in loyalist hands, and was taken prisoner once. Apart from a slight touch of fever and a small piece of shrapnel, which took me to hospital three times, I have so far come through it all comparatively unscratched … I have learnt to love this country. The beauty of it is breathtaking. It is a sickening experience to pass through these lovely Spanish towns after the Fascist shellings and bombings. I know that such an experience would soon stimulate those at home to oust those responsible for aiding aggression and war. Since our advances, the Fascist fury seems to know no bounds. I had the good luck to secure a copy of the Leicester Mercury the other day and I noticed that a Leicester Fascist had challenged you to a debate……War being what it is, one cannot make any forecast with certainty, but I expect and hope to be back in England by Christmas.”
Roy Watts was killed on September 25th 1938, aged 24, during the Spanish Republic's Ebro offensive.
Sources: Leicester Mercury 5th April & 6th October 1938; http://www.nednewitt.webspace.virginmedia.com/whoswho/W-X-Y-Z.html
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