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marching bandThe 2015 Poppy Appeal in Benidorm was officially launched today – to much pomp and ceremony as it so justifiably deserves. The Torrevieja Pipes and Drums led the procession along the Levante promenade, attracting attention and applause from those that lined the route. The sound of bagpipes playing is certainly an unusual occurance in Benidorm!

standard bearers on paradeEven the young lads drinking in the bars stood and clapped as the immaculately turned out Standard Bearers, British Legion members and ex-servicemen marched past… it certainly made everyone feel very proud of being a Brit. It goes to show the huge respect that these gentlemen command from all ages.


Chelsea Pensioners on paradeSarah-Jane Morris, the British Consul and Toni Perez, Mayor of Benidorm escorted two incredible gentlemen, the Chelsea Pensioners - Arthur “Skippy” Teasdale aged 86 and Wayne Campbell aged 78 immaculately turned out in their distinctive scarlet coats and medals.

standards loweredThe parade finished up at the end of the promenade and officials took to the stage, with the Standard Bearers standing proudly to attention as both National Anthems were played and lowering them later when The Last Post was trumpeted. Mr Nigel Hails – Chairman of District North of the RBL in Spain spoke of the hard work that members had carried out over the previous year.

poppy appeal ladiesLast year they raised an astounding €181,324.80 from the Poppy Appeal in this district – so definitely a target to try and beat. He emphasized that ALL of the money – every last cent is used to help those that come to the RBL for assistance. Among some of the things this money has helped do is furnish accomodation, install stair lifts and purchase mobility scooters for those now unable to walk well.

speeches at poppy launchThe Mayor was presented with a Certificate of Honour on behalf of the RBL in Spain, in grateful thanks for the support and encouragement in their help to launch the 2015 Poppy Appeal here. In reply he said that the Royal British Legion "is a role model" and that they can always count on support and encouragement from the council.

me with chealsea pensionersThe ceremony ended with raptuous applause as the Standard Bears marched off with the band. Hoards of spectators, both English and Spanish, descended on Skippy and Wayne, wanting photographs taken with them.I met the boys when they came in 2013 and they still remembered our chat - they may not be as quick on their feet but my goodness, there´s nothing wrong with their minds!

Attached is a link of a short video clip of the Pipes and Drums warming up:

Many of the bars and shops in Benidorm will have collection tins - please give generously to this very worthy cause to help support those that have fought in all the conflicts worldwide. “In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row” – wear yours with Pride for those that have given so much.


+2 #1 Tom 2015-11-03 20:54
Hi I'm in Benidorm next week, is anything planned for Wednesday 11th? Service or a silence etc. Thanks.

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