Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Manuel Texidor Catasus

Manuel 'Manolo' Texidor Catasus was born in 1901.  He is the 4th son and last child of Emilio Texidor Torres and Dolores Catasus Bues.

He is my grandfather, I never knew him... and as I grew up I was told stories of how he was caught and subsequently escaped from Franco soldiers by jumping from trains... adventure stories... but that was all.  I knew him as Manolo Texidor.  I did not know he was a Catasus (which doesn't help internet searching - it's like searching for John Smith).

When I was 12 or 13, I sat down with my grandmother (Muriel Elisabeth Morris) and wrote down the names she could remember from his life...  brothers, Emilio, Jose, Antonio and sisters, Maria and Mercedes.  My grandmother did not know his parents' names - but knew his father was an artist - nor anything more.  Perhaps I didn't ask, because I don't think I ever knew where they were from... Barcelona? Tossa de Mar? Sitges? - all I knew was that they were from Spain.

My grandmother told me Manolo had been married three times.  The first to Greville Foster.  Second to Carmen Vinyals.  And she was the third.  Manuel had 5 children (that she knew about!!).

Manuel and Greville had a daughter, Cristina who was born in Buenos Aires, and grew up mostly in New Zealand.  Cristina now lives in Spain.

Manuel and Carmen had two children, Pol and Marina.  Pol was born in Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War.  He was in exile with his mother and father as an infant in Normandy, France.  Marina would have been born in France.

Manuel and Elisabeth (M.E. Morris) had two children, Antonia (my mother) and Mark, both born in England.

Manuel died in Abingdon, near Oxford in 1970, about three months after I was born.  It's possible I only ever met him once and could only gurgle at him.

All this information I wrote down and kept from the age of 14... until I was 31...  when I met my cousin, Izumi Texidor Hirai for the first time in London.....

We knew nothing about Casa Texidor, very little about our grandfather, Manuel Texidor.  And we both were asking questions...

That begins the story... and everything written here I have discovered since...

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