José Ventura Aira Villamil

Category: Military man
Birth Date: 7th July 1757
Birth Place: As Cadeas - San Juan de Fonfría - Pedrafita do Cebreiro (Lugo)

He moved to Castille with his brother looking for work. In 1779, he began to work as a servant of a merchant in Valladolid who taught him how to read and write. Then he moved to Madrid, where he became a soldier in 1789 and was appointed to Farnesio Regiment. In 1795, he was raised to the rank of sergeant. Owing to the Independence War, he fought against the French at Espinosa Battle and was taken prisioner in 1808. One year later he deserted and went in Germany and then in England until he managed to embark to A Coruña. Once in Spain again, he requested the restitution of the military rank he had before the French had taken him prisoner.