Portal de Las Torres de Cotillas

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A war hospital in Las Torres de Cotillas (1936-1939) (05/08/2019)

During the entire Civil War, the Region of Murcia constituted a land of rearguard of the battle fronts and from that position supplied food to the combat zones in addition to attending to the wounded in its network of blood hospitals.

Thus, less than a month after the start of this fratricidal conflict, exactly on August 14, 1936, the City Council of Las Torres de Cotillas, for this purpose, agreed to expropriate the owners of the D'Estoup Palace, today Colegio "Divine Master", a nineteenth-century construction that, as a Murcian reference of eclectic art and located in the populous Barrio de Los Vicente, once housed one of the most important art galleries in Spain as well as a library of remarkable catalog that was destroyed in the maelstrom of the tragic fratricidal war.

Thanks to this seizure, the Consistory assigned the manor house to a hospital for Torreño soldiers wounded on the battle fronts, being endowed with forty beds distributed on two floors, cure and extraction rooms, mortuary, laundry ,. ..

From the beginning of February 1937, the hospital would exclusively treat aviation soldiers suffering from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, having for that purpose a score of beds and a new pavilion that at that time, to house the staff of nurses coming mostly from Madrid, it would be built in front of the D'Estoup Palace, on the site that later - in 1973 - would be occupied by the Health Center that preceded the current one inaugurated at the beginning of the last decade of the 90s.

The personnel that provided work in said war hospital, one of the six that around the City of Murcia and its surroundings attended to the wounded of the Republican Army, along with the dispensaries authorized in the Sanctuary of Fuensanta, the University Campus of La Merced, the Marist College on the Malecon, the Finca del Pino in the town of Valladolises and the Archena Spa, constituted him as director Javier Paulino Pérez (a doctor specializing in lung and heart and in the current democratic stage Senator - in the periods from 1979-1982 and 1986-1987- and member in addition to the Autonomous Parliament of Castilla La Mancha –from 1983 to 1991-), the Torreño doctor Pedro Fernández Jara and a cast of doctors in tuberculous pathology, visiting doctors in charge of periodic inspections, Practitioners, nurses, administrators and accountants, cooks, cleaners, assistants, chauffeurs and food supply managers.

Sources consulted:

-MONTES BERNÁRDEZ, R.: Biographical and historical dictionary of Las Torres de Cotillas (Murcia), Azarbe, Murcia, 2016.

-Digital library of the Municipal Archive of Murcia.

Source: JJRM

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