Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938) was a mythical character in the International Brigades. He was born in Nevada, in a family of Scottish origin. He studied economics at the prestigious University of Berkeley, where he also worked as a professor. He spent some years in the Soviet Union, investigating the communist agricultural policy, but left everything to join the International Brigades. It participated in hard combats of the civil war, like the battle of the Jarama or the one of Brunete, where the brigadistas suffered many losses. He was wounded in the battle of Belchite and after these combats was appointed Chief of Staff of the XV Brigade..
Its end is very confusing. Disappeared in the withdrawal from the Aragon front. He could have died in combat in the area of Corbera d'Ebre, but he could also have surrendered and been executed that same night by the Francoist troops (who often killed the brigadistas, and especially the officers). The most widespread version is that he was taken prisoner in Corbera d'Ebre and shot on April 2, 1938.
An interdisciplinary team made up of researchers, archaeologists and local scholars, coordinated by DIDPATRI, has tried to locate the remains of Robert Hale Merriman. They tried to find the corpse of the commander, taking advantage of the testimony of a neighbor of the town that had collaborated in the excavation of pits, but they did not manage to locate the body.
They say that he was a friend of Ernest Hemingway, and that he served as inspiration when building the character of Robert Jordan, in the novel "For whom the bell tolls".
The plaque is placed, in memory of Merriman and all the fighters of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion, work of the sculptor Mar H. Pongiluppi.