I received the sad news on 24th May 2021, that Josep Almudever, the last surviving brigader anywhere in the world, has died. Two of the teenage brothers Josep and Vicent Almudever brothers, of Valencian parentage but raised in France, fought for the Republic in the International Brigades. After the fall of the Republic, Josep suffered years of imprisonment in Franco’s notorious prisons.
I had the honour to meet both brothers on several occasions during commemorative meetings in Spain. I well remember how they kept the audience entertained with Republican songs. Josep Almudever Presente! Now we have their proud legacy to uphold.
Here is the message from Almudena Cros, President of AABI, the Spanish association of friendship with the International Brigades.
‘It is with a heavy heart that l have to let you know of the passing of the very last International Brigades member, Josep Almudever. I am personally feeling so fortunate to have met this irreducible defender of the Spanish Republic, and was lucky to chat with him on the phone in 2019 just before Franco’s remains were going to be dug up and removed from the Valley of the Fallen. I never had the opportunity to share more time with him. The saddest thing is that Josep was so desperate to return to his native Valencia that he agreed to take the vaccine against covid19 but his 102-year old body could not handle it. Rest in Glory, our comrade. Un verdadero Honor haberte conocido, camarada y guia.’
For more information, there is an obituary in the Morning Star of 26th May 2021