10 Octobre Bob Minor and Bill Lawrence tour Quinto

October 10

Robert Merriman’s diary for October 10, 1937

Copic, Minor and Unknown

Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Copic, Robert Minor and a woman visitor at Quinto during the Fuentes del Ebro Operations, October 1937 ALBA PHOTO 11-0848, Tamiment Library, NYU


Henri Cartier-Bresson in Quinto in front of training Lincoln Brigaders, October 1937, ALBA Photo 11-0852, Tamiment Library, NYU

The XVth Brigade arrives back in Quinto.  Accompanying them is Bill Lawrence from Albacete and Bob Minor from Valencia.   Many, many photographs are available from this visit and Bob Minor is widely photographed in the area.  In addition, new arrivals show up at Quinto from Albacete to join the Lincoln-Washington Battalion and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jacques Lemare and Herbert Kline are there to make a movie of the Brigades.   Iconic pictures and movies of the men marching and training are seen outside the cemetery at Quinto just to the north of the Church.

As a personal prerogative here, I include a single frame from the movie that Cartier-Bresson is shooting and the man who is circled in the photo is the writer’s father, Harold Hoff, who has just come to Quinto from Tarazona de la Mancha.   He has been in Spain for three weeks and will go on the front lines in 3 days.


Harold Hoff in formation in Quinto during the filming of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s film, ALBA copyright, Tamiment Library, NYU

Merriman says that the staff meeting they held with Bill Lawrence and Bob Minor was tense.   The staff were trying to remove Copic from command and have him replaced.   Copic showed a picture, presumably one of the many of himself, to Minor and Lawrence.  The air was frozen.  Minor asked if Copic had one of Merriman (knowing full well that Copic did not allow photographs of Merriman to be taken at Belchite).  Copic did not answer as he knew that he had blocked photos to be taken of Merriman.

After the meeting the Americans talked.  Bill Lawrence, Robbie Robinson and Dave Doran met with Merriman.   Jim Bourne had been ordered by Minor to talk to Merriman.   Some question that Bourne had asked of Lawrence was inappropriate and he was apprised of that later.   Merriman’s opinion of Bourne as a political neophyte is reinforced.