RAFAEL SÁNCHEZ MACHUCA

Rafael Sánchez Machuca is from Taraguilla and in 1936 he was just over five years old. His father Manuel, and his mother María, had another ten children to bring up. They lived near La Sauceda and worked in the countryside. Manuel’s life was miraculously saved, but those of some neighbours, who Rafael can still remember, were not. Two of his uncles spent ten years in jail. Like many other children he went hungry, and had to start working at an early age. He has never forgotten the first plane he ever saw, the one which flew over the mountains before bombarding La Sauceda, nor the line of prisoners who were building the road from Alcalá to Puerto Galis years later. Although he was so young at the time, Rafael has some indelible memories, such as when he heard the word “reds” for the first time, directed contemptuously at the group of children of whom he was part, whose fathers were ‘reds’.