A few weeks ago, when Basque Passionist, historian, and patriot Gregorio Arrien passed away, we brought you, as a reference to his “work sharing the memory of the Basque war children”, one of his last articles, which had been published in Deia, “Leah Manning, la educadora con un homenaje pendiente (Leah Manning, the Educator with a Pending Homage)”.
In this article, Arrien highlighted the work of Leah Manning, educator, social reformer, and Labour politician, who was key in getting Great Britain to open its doors to Basque children. She did so after a long, hard road of raising social awareness and facing up to the British government, which did not want to allow it. To break that resistance down, the report filed by journalist George L. Steer on the bombing of Guernica was essential.
Today, we’re remembering her again because the BBC has just published a story reporting that a plaque has been placed in Cambridge in her memory and to honor her for her amazing work defending the rights of women and children.
We Basques have also dedicated a small garden to her in Bilbao’s Txurdinaga neighborhood. As also happened in the case of George L. Steer, the citizens of Bilbao have dedicated a corner of their city in the heart of a working class district to remembering the key players from the rest of the world who helped the Basques in their struggle against Fascism. We’re sure they’re both quite happy with the choice of those locations. In the case of Mrs. Manning, the park dedicated to her is surrounded by streets named after two people with whom she would also feel good: poet Gabriel Aresti and author, professor, and politican Jesús Galindez.
Gregorio Arrien reminded us Basques that we still owe this extraordinary woman, which can only be paid by remembering and paying homage to her. We do hope we can now start “paying” our part of that debt.
Agur eta Ohore.
We’ll leave you with this BBC report on the homage and an article on the life and work of this amazing woman
BBC – 11/1/2020 – Great Britain
Cambridge plaque for ‘pioneer’ woman MP Leah Manning
A “lifelong champion” of women’s and children’s causes has been recognised for her “pioneering struggle” more than 40 years after her death. Leah Manning co-founded a birth control clinic, taught at a Ragged School, helped 4,000 Basque children escape the Spanish Civil War and was an MP.
Spartacus-educational – – Gran Bretaña
Leah Perrett, the daughter of a Captain in the Salvation Army, was born in Droitwich, Worcestershire, on 14th April 1886. Educated at St. John’s School, Bridgwater, and Homerton College, Cambridge, where she joined the Fabian Society. Manning worked as a teacher in Cambridge and in 1913 she married Will Manning.