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Durruti Column Photo Album

A rather unique photo album in that it records in photos the life story of an artillery officer who served with the Durruti Column on the Aragon Front.


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Santiago de Compostela, NW Spain 1933 &1934

The album starts with a childhood in the Teruel area in particular Puertomingalvo – an inaccessible part of Spain even today.


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Santander & Corunna 1934

Teruel is still the least populated part of the country. The evidence of the early photos indicates he was from a wealthy family and educated. There are around 25 pages of photos and I show some examples here.

Most of the photos have places and dates on the rear – unfortunately they are stuck down so getting the information is difficult.

  
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Frente De Osera -officer typing 1936, Osera December 1936 -Artillery, Osera November 1936 group photo

In August 1936 the anarchists under Durruti established themselves at Osera and Pina along the banks of the Ebro. In theory Colonel Villalba, Commander of the Barbastro garrison was in official command of the whole Aragon Front. He persuaded Durruti to take caution and not rush towards Saragossa. The whole situation was confused – the Republic had around 20,000 troops  but they were a mixture of Durruti anarchist militia, ex soldiers who wanted to fight but were no longer under any command and regular troops under Villalba. It’s difficult to know where the officer in the photos (top left hand corner – figure above) fits in with the Durruti column. Certainly he was at Osera.


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The most interesting photo is on the bottom left which seems to show Durruti himself in the centre of the group (back row, fourth from the left).The artillery officer is on the far right at the back, with a white scarf?
Looking at the bigger version of the photo I have my doubts – the Durruti figure certainly has the trade mark hat and chunky figure but is he too short? Having said that Durruti looks different in each of the published photos I have seen. Whether its him or not Durruti was in Madrid by the 14th November and dead by the 20th

 
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6 loose photos that someone decided to cut out of the album!
Top centre – Frente Osera – December 1936,
Others - Martin Del Rio - March 1937
Bottom left – Las Canteras May 1937

Perhaps the most amazing fact about the photos is that the officer survived the war! The last few pages show him married with a child in the early 1940’s.

  
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Frente Osera – October 1936 ,Martin del Rio – Artillery march 1937, 
Martin Del Rio was a small town north of Teruel and south of Saragossa – almost mid way and again a rather isolated area.