TONY Hogan sent me an email and I was thankful that Google traced so much information: Bill Feeley was a Lancashire singer who lived in St Helens before he died in 1977.

He had fought as a machine gunner with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. He was a steel erector by trade and he started the St Helens branch of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (Construction Section). 

One source suggests that at one time there was a hall named in his honour by St Helens Borough Council, but that no longer exists.

Another source suggests a street was named after him, but there are none in my street map indexes. A contradictory comment says it wasn’t a street, but a car park.

Tony suggests that Bill Feeley was the last soldier to fire a shot in anger in the Spanish Civil War, but I cannot find confirmation of this. Accounts from this confusing era are not definitive. 

But let us consider his singing... Tony recommends we visit 

He says: “It’s the soundtrack from a TV programme back in the ‘70s about him where he talked about his experience and played the guitar and sang. Try and listen to the end and hear him singing. I grew up listening to him singing but even I had forgotten how good a singer he was.”