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Little Ambassadors

Besides the children who were accommodated at Sketty Park House, there were also Basque refugee 'colonies' at Brechfa in Carmarthenshire and at Caerleon in Monmouthshire.

Little Ambassadors
At Brechfa, relations between the local community and the refugees turned sour after some of the children were involved in unruly behaviour. There were no such incidents in Swansea.

This report from the South Wales Evening Post of 19th July 1937 tells us more:

Little Basque Ambassadors: A Sketty Park House Episode

Swansea's Basque Children at Sketty Park House, whose greatest excitement so far has been a last minute place on the Royal route to see the King and Queen's progress to the Guildhall, are getting on well under the better arrangements for food, etc., that the home provides, and many of them are putting on weight.

Considerable numbers of weekend visitors continue to come to them, and last weekend those included a number of Spanish sailors, of whom one gave them an admirable talk.

In this he emphasised the opportunities open to the children of creating good relations between Britons and Spaniards, since not a great deal was known of Spain in Britain. There was, he urged, a fine opportunity, by exemplary conduct based on gratitude for hospitality, of helping future friendships between the two countries.

The children leave Swansea

In January 1938, seven boys and four girls from Sketty Park House returned to Spain. Several more returned in March. In May 1938 the remaining children at Sketty Park House were transferred to the Basque colony at Caerleon.

The children are gone, but not forgotten. They are immortalised in the collection of Basque Refugee photographs held at West Glamorgan Archives. (Their reference is P/ES1/NBR 1-112). 

Here are thumbnail versions of the 112 images that make up this collection. (PDF) [7MB]

You can visit the Archives to see them in person, or contact us for more information.

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Last modified on 28 February 2022