Mayor Cllr John Watts unveiling the Blue Plaque
An Aberaman hero who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War has been honoured with a Blue Plaque on his former home.
Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf Cllr John Watts paid tribute to the late Edwin Greening along with members of the Cynon Valley History Society, International Brigades Memorial Trust, the Red Choir and the freedom fighter’s own family.
A special event was held in Aberdare’s Green Street Chapel to celebrate the life of Mr Greening before the plaque was placed on his former home at Cardiff Road, Aberaman.
Speakers at the event included David Leslie Davies of the Cynon Valley History Society, Duncan Longstaff from the International Brigades Memorial Trust and Mr Greening’s daughter, Mary Greening. The Red Choir also performed a selection of songs from the Spanish Civil War.
Cllr Watts said, “I have been fascinated to learn today something about the life of Edwin Greening and the incredible bravery that he and his comrades in the International Brigades displayed, in their willingness to fight for a cause they believed in during the Spanish Civil War.
“This is one of an increasing number of blue plaques that are being placed around the County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf to recognise notable people, places and events that mark our heritage.
“The scheme started in 2008 with a heritage lottery funded project and, I am pleased to say, is being continued by the Council despite the difficult financial climate in which we find ourselves.
“Today we remember an outstanding individual who was much loved and respected within his community and we pay tribute to the contribution he made by fighting the fascist cause more than seventy years ago.”
Born in 1910, Edwin Greening became a member of the International Brigades who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
He left his home at 20 Cardiff Road, Aberaman to fight for the republican cause against fascism in August 1937, returning in December 1938 having fought and witnessed great hardship, bravery and tragic loss during that time. The fascists were ultimately successful and many see the fascist triumph as the start of the Second World War.
After World War II he trained as a teacher and went to work in Warwickshire, returning to Aberdare in 1956 to teach in Penywaun Junior School before retiring in 1975.
He was a prominent member of Cynon Valley History Society for many years and well known in the locality before his death in 2003.
For further details visit www.heritagetrailsrct.co.uk