Very sad to hear from Alan Warren that Roma Marquez Santo has passed away.
This morning (29th December, 2010), Roma Marquez Santo, miliciano of the Columna Lenin and teniente of the Ejercito Popular passed away peacefully in Barcelona at the age of 94.[…]
Roma was one of six children born to Josep Maria Márquez Gaya & Conception Santos Seguí., Born in Barcelona he began work in a Renault garage in Carre Córsega in 1935, being paid 12 pesetas a week. The family read a wide variety of books whenever they could find them including many Russian authors and were active in political life.
On the 19th July 1936, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in Barcelona, as a member of the UGT, Roma first went with his brother, Sergi, to the Sant Agustí Barracks in Carrer Comerc where the First Regiment of Mountain Artillery was based and was given a Mauser model 1925 with a package of 50 cartridges. He then went home and his older brother, “Tete”, took the same identification card (without a photograph) and received another rifle!
On the 22nd July the three brothers went to the Palace Theatre in the Ramblas, which belonged to the POUM, to enlist in one of the militia columns. His youngest brother Raúl stayed at home, very annoyed, because he also wanted to come, but was only fourteen years old. He subsequently went to the Jaume I barracks. Raúl was very tall and told the recruiters that he was sixteen years old. He was enrolled and was sent to Madrid. He was in the battle of Madrid from November 7th 1936.
On the 24th July the three brothers assembled at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona with 1.600 men. This was the Lenin Column. Though Roma was not a member of the POUM, the leaders suggested that if they wanted to make something of themselves that they should join, which they did after a few days. When Roma was at the front his eldest sister, Angels, was part of the invasion of Mallorca as a miliciana with the Bayo column.
The first village that the Column entered in combat was Leciñena. Then the Column was sent to Huesca. Here the three brothers volunteered to man four 50mm mortars, each with a crew of five men. The column went to cut the road near the castle of Montearagón in September 1936. Wounded in the leg during this fighting Roma was evacuated to Barcelona and whilst recovering from the infected wound he attended the funeral of Durruti on 23rd November 1936. He returned to the Aragon Front over Christmas 1936.
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