All those who wished for the triumph of the elected government of Spain had their hopes dashed on 1 April 1939 with the surrender of the final remnants of the Republican forces. Despite all their warnings of the dangers posed by the rise of fascism in Europe, the Spanish Civil War can in many ways be seen as the opening chapters of World War II, as Hitler and Mussolini practiced for future invasions. In Australia, many Spanish Civil War veterans enlisted again, proudly displaying their International Brigades medals and insignias. Most Australian Brigadiers continued supporting the cause of Spain, as well in being involved with the trade union movement in Australia and other social justice causes. Those who saw fascism victorious in Spain took the warning to heart.
In 1992, a committee was formed in Canberra to memorialise all those Australian volunteers who served in the Spanish Civil War. In 1993, the memorial was unveiled on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, in Lennox Gardens by Lloyd Edmonds, a transport driver for the International Brigades.