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February 23, 1937 the Lincoln Battalion received orders to enter the first lines of attack and defense on the Jarama front. This was a period of the most sustained bloody fighting in the Jarama battle, causing the battalion the most serious casualties.

The fiercest fighting took place at PingarrĂ³n Hill near San Martin de la Vega. More than a thousand Killed and wounded of the enemy were left behind when they finally retreated.

The February battles by the river Jarama had a different character from all those that had been fought previously. On both sides considerable forces confronted each other. For the rebel offensive 25 to 30,000 men were concentrated; 10,000 of which where Germans and Italians.

The fighting was fierce and sustained. Both sides fought savagely for each foot of ground. Battles of a prolonged character--a month of almost uninterrupted fighting. It was a battle of severe tests for both sides.

Of almost 500 Lincolns who went over the top in this action, 127 were killed and about 200 wounded.

Among those killed was the first Afro-American anti-fascist Alonzo Watson.

We reprint below a story from the DAILY WORKER June 2, 1937 reporting the Memorial Meeting held in New York by the Harlem Division of the Communist Party:

First Black American Casualty in Spain

Memorial for Watson in Harlem to Mark Spanish Aid Week

(Daily Worker Harlem Bureau)

A memorial meeting to Alonzo Watson, Negro worker killed while serving in the Lincoln Battalion in Spain, will feature "Spanish Aid" week's activities by the Harlem Division of the Communist Party, it was announced today.

The meeting, which will wind up a series of parades, demonstrations throughout the community, will be held on June 14, at 8 P.M., in the Congress Casino, 168 W. 132 St.

James W. Ford, Negro Communist leader and secretary of the


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Division, will be the principal speaker. Ford returned a week ago from a tour of Barcelona, Valencia and of the Loyalist trenches around Madrid, where he talked with members of the Lincoln Battalion.


"Spanish Aid" week, began on May 30 and will continue through June 9, under the auspices of the North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, 381 Fourth Ave. It is being observed on a nation-wide scale.

On June 4, the lower Harlem Section of the Communist Party will hold a mass meeting in Park Palace, at 110th St. and Fifth Ave., featuring Ford as the main speaker. Others who will address the meeting will be: Frank Quintana, organizer of the lower Harlem Party, and Jose Santiago, one of the lower Harlem leaders.


Following this meeting on June 9, the lower Harlem section will hold a torchlight parade, counteracting a fascist-led march in the territory last Sunday.

The East Harlem section of the party has scheduled a "Spanish Aid" meeting in the Esthonian Hall, W. 115th St., on the evening of June 4.

Numerous open-air meetings will be held by the Washington Heights section of the Party during this week.

Joining in support of the Spanish people's fight against fascism, the United Aid for Peoples of African Descent, 200 W. 135th St., has also scheduled a meeting at Rockland Palace, 155th St. and 8th Ave., on June 11. Max Yergan, Negro director of the International Committee on African Affairs, and James W. Ford will be guest speakers.