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Fernando Del Marmol - Accidental Death of a Cuban Anarchist

One wouldn't expect to find a Cuban anarchist buried in the Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries but there is. Thank you to FOBLC stallwart Mike Guilfoyle for providing this fascinating account of one of the more unlikely people to be buried here.



Fernando Del Marmol shares the same 2nd August birthdate as the celebrated Decadent Poet Ernest Dowson who lies buried a few yards away in the cemetery. Born in Havana to wealthy Catalan emigrants, he later became a distinguished Professor of Mathematics having studied engineering in Spain, where he became the Director of the Polytechnic Academy of Barcelona. His powerful writings and articles on Anarchist theory (he coined the term ' anarchism without adjectives', a call for greater tolerance amongst the various divided anarchist factions) were given added force following his detention in the dreaded Montjuich Prison, Barcelona, the 'Abu Ghraib' of its day! The city was under martial law at the time. It was only due to the fact that one of his jailers happened to be an old student and recognised him that he was released.




Fearful of his life and hounded by the Authorities he took refuge in France. Where he denounced the atrocities being committed on those imprisoned there as well as supporting the insurgencies against the declining Spanish Colonial Empire in Cuba & The Philippines(soon to be annexed by the USA) after its War with Spain in 1896. He was a regular contributor to France's leading intellectual journal, la Revue Blanche. Forced to leave France via Belgium he arrived in London and lodged with the celebrated Anarchists Peter Kropotkin and Louise Michel(living at the time in nearby Bromley). He established links with the Fabian Society and went on Publicity tours with Kier Hardie and Ramsey MacDonald.

Del Marmol died aged 54 in 1915 during the Great War. His young wife and daughter aged just 8 months died in 1900 and he is buried with them in the same grave . On the Headstone are the words 'For liberty and the cause of the humbled he gave his all'. A fitting tribute to a lesser known but great Cuban Intellectual, who contributed much to the political history of organised protest & resistance to tyranny, who having sought refuge in this country lies in his final resting place in this inconspicuous corner of the cemetery.