There is one interesting piece of testimony relating to
the death of Bob Smillie that Tom
Buchanan does not discuss in his article on this sad affair
(‘The death of Bob Smillie, the
Spanish Civil War, and the eclipse of the Independent Labour party’
40 (June 1997)). The Orwell Archive at University College, London, contains
statement dated 30 January 1930 that Georges Kopp sent to Fenner Brockway
John McNair of the ILP with a copy to his friend and comrade, George Orwell.
document, Kopp makes clear his belief that Bob Smillie was kicked to death
Communist interrogators in an effort to get him to sign statements prejudicial
POUM and the ILP. As Buchanan points out, Kopp was Smillie's unit commander
was himself arrested during the repression of the POUM and only released
1938. His account of events deserves consideration.