surinenglish

10 January 2014: Sisters in their seventies meet for first time

Josefa and Remedios Campos hug each other.
Josefa and Remedios Campos hug each other. / A. J. GUERRERO
  • Remedios and Josefa Campos had the same father but different mothers and were united after Remedios's children traced the family tree

On 10 January 2014 two sisters, both by then in their 70s, met for the first time. Josefa Campos Fernández, 78, was born in Antequera and her sister, Remedios Campos Cantador, 74 was born in Córdoba. They have the same father but different mothers.

The sisters never got to meet each other as children as their father, Joaquín Campos Fernández (Antequera, 3 January 1911), who had fought during Spain's Civil War, was shot on 8 January 1941 and so the two sisters had no link to unite them.

The day after meeting for the first time the sisters went together to pay their respects to their father whose remains lie in the San Rafael cemetery in Malaga.

There was another sister, Isabel, who had the same mother as Josefa but she had died before the meeting.

In 2009, Remedios's children who at the time were living in Valencia, wanted to trace their family tree and find out who their grandfather was. Their research took them to Antequera, where they contacted local historian and Civil War expert Miguel Ángel Melero Vargas. He was able to put them in touch with a relative of their aunt.

From there the children of both sisters made contact and arranged a meeting for their mothers. Plans were made for the two sisters, as well as their families, to meet, 74 years after the war had divided them.

Josefa had nine children and was living in Antequera, while Remedios was living in Burjassot, Valencia, with her three children.

As well as paying respects to their father, the sisters also paid tribute to Josefa's mother, Remedios Fernández López, who was killed during the war, on 24 August 1937.

At the time of the meeting, the historian believed it was the first case of siblings separated during the civil war being united in Antequera and possibly even in Malaga province.

On meeting each other for the first time Josefa said, "I am so happy, I was really looking forward to us meeting ever since I found out we were sisters." They had spoken by telephone before the face to face meeting.

Josefa had been told as a child that she had a sister but Remedios said she had been told nothing about having siblings.