On Saturday 12 May, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith spoke at the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating Madge Addy, International Brigade volunteer and World War 2 spy.
Ms Addy, who was born in Chorlton at the turn of the century, volunteered as a nurse for the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. She is credited with saving lives and treating many of the sick and wounded in Spain before she was captured and imprisoned as a foreigner when the war ended. The British government lobbied for her release and she was the last nurse to leave Spain, before becoming an agent for the British government in occupied France during World War 2.
Before all of that, Ms Addy was a hairdresser in Chorlton, living on Manchester Road where a memorial plaque has now been placed in recognition of her work by the International Brigade Memorial Trust.
Commenting at the unveiling, Jeff said:
“Madge Addy was a truly remarkable woman – a qualified nurse and hairdresser living in Chorlton before dedicating her life to fighting fascism across Europe.
From smuggling secret messages sewn into her fur coat past the Nazis, to setting up one of the largest escape and evasion networks for Allied troops in Western Europe, Madge’s little-known story deserves recognition.
It’s great that the International Brigade Memorial Trust have put up a plaque to acknowledge her extraordinary achievements, and it was a privilege to speak at its unveiling.”
You can find out more about Madge Addy’s life in this article in Open Up Magazine by loca l historian Andrew Simpson – http://openupmagazines.co.uk/a-chorlton-comrade/