Baldomero Iglesias Herrera was born in Torres, on February 1849 and he died on 21st July 1884 in the shipwreck of his steam-mail boat called “Gijón”.
He was a professional marine, ending his studies in 1867. He embarked in a corvette which transported flour between Santander and La Habana. In his teens, Baldomero had to be in charge of that corvette when the captain died. He sailed back with total success.
Some years later, in 1871, he ended with mutiny in the brig, Fluvia with only 22 years. After this exceptional event, the Navel Companies wanted him and, in 1884, the Company, put him in command of the steam-mail Gijón, which, was to be his last boat. On 20 July 1884 he set off from Santander, took passengers in La Coruña, and continued towards Puerto Rico and La Habana, where he would never arrived.
A thick fog made the Gijón crash with another English cargo boat, the Laxham. This last, sank first, so captain Baldomero had time to evacuate to the maximum number possible of women and children, for which he is known. Some hours later, the Gijón sank too, taking with him this hero of the sea. He didn’t want to leave his boat. He saved hundreds of people and he lost his live.
The fact shocked to all Torrelavega and led to the decision of giving his name to a place which is now known as “La Plaza Roja”, being Mayor José Ramón Argumosa Gutiérrez. In addition, a black plate was placed in the wall of the Town hall remembering our hero. The painter Escudero Espronceda painted a portrait of him which Baldomero gave to Torrelavega’s Town hall. Under the soil of the Baldomero Iglesias’s place, is buried one of the most important pages of the history of this city.
“22 calles de Torrelavega”
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