Today, Saturday 14 October, saw the official launch of the Royal British Legion Spain North Poppy Appeal, which took place in Benidorm, led by the spectacular Torrevieja Pipes & Drums. The sound of the bagpipes attracted the attention of all along the Levante promenade, who quickly lined the route, applauding as they and the Standard Bearers marched by.
They were followed by the mayor Toni Peréz, accompanied by the British Vice Consul Sara Munsterhjelm plus other officials and numerous ex-service men and women. Groups of men, drinking pints stood up and clapped, some saluting, paying their respects and thanks as they passed.
Nationally, around 40 million pounds is raised annually from the Poppy Appeal. The RBL is a charitable organisation, whose aim is to support serving and retired military personnel and their dependants.
The poppy, which grew so profusely in the war-torn fields of Flanders, where nothing else would, is their emblem - instantly recognised by everyone and now worn with pride by many as a symbol of remembrance.
Last year, in Spain North, €120,000 was raised – a remarkable amount, that represented the efforts of all the branches and it helped over 700 beneficiaries. Many bars and restaurants will have a poppy box and donation pots over the next month – please give generously to this worthy cause and wear your poppy with pride!
“In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row”.