poppy field

Spain District North

Poppy Appeal Launch 2022


Along with representatives of the Royal British Legon and the British Embassy in UK and Spain, Toni Pérez, the mayor of Benidorm, while speaking of how proud he was to be involved in the fundraising campaign, has launched the 2022 RBL Poppy Appeal. The event took place last Saturday afternoon in front of an enthusiastic crowd, adjacent to Levante Beach.

Hundreds of Veterans had travelled from across Spain to be at the ceremony, which has been held at the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca since 2013.

The mayor spoke of the constant growth in the Poppy Appeal which he said, “is testimony to the hard work of all the volunteers who collect the funds and the extraordinary generosity of those that live in and visit the Country. This is a town that maintains the best ties of friendship with the people from the UK and we regard our involvement in this launch to be very much an honour for our city”.

He told of the common memory that the city of Benidorm shares with the RBL, “as we remember all those who have given their lives for their country”.

In bright sunshine, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, the launch began rather differently this year, with a debut performance by long-time supporter Stevie Spit BEM, who gave a moving rendition of ‘Lest we Forget’.

He was followed by the Chairman of the RBL in Spain District North, Jack Kemp, who welcomed all of the guests, before thanking the mayor for his ongoing support and the privilege of parading along the Benidorm seafront. He also welcomed members of the group that are currently working toward the opening of a new RBL Branch that will soon be established in Valencia.

Captain Stephen McGlory, defence Attaché at the British Embassy, spoke of what Remembrance means to him as a serving officer, and how difficult he found it to talk about Remembrance without mentioning the late Queen, ever present at the Cenotaph in London and the UK’s most famous Veteran.

Lynda Atkins, National Vice Chair of the Royal British Legion, spoke of the changes that have taken place in the Royal British Legion in the 101 years since it was formed back in 1921, while stating that the basic aims remain exactly the same now as they were all those years ago.

Once again, the parade along Avda Madrid to Rincón de Loix was led by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums, as the impressive annual display strode out along the Levante promenade, standards flowing in the breeze, followed by a long line of former servicemen of all nationalities and services, including many members of the RNA, RAAFA and RMA.

The event also resonated among the spectators lined along the Levante beach, the rousing sound of bagpipes, something not too often seen in the popular resort, sights and sounds that were enthusiastically applauded by the many hundreds that stood along the route.

Following the Last Post, Reveille played by District bugler Mark Benton, two minutes silence and the speeches, the National Anthems of Spain and the United Kingdom were played by the Concert Band , after which the ceremony ended with rapturous applause as the Standard Bearers and the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums marched off before the spectators, both English and Spanish, descended on the pipers for photographs.

Prior to the event the crowds were entertained by the Royal British Concert Band while a gazebo, manned by volunteers from Benidorm and the Hondon Valley, distributed programmes, RBL Magazines, Memorabilia and of course a multitude of Membership Forms.

If you are a veteran visiting or living in Spain and you would like to know more about the Royal British Legion or their activities in District North, please contact any one of the 14 local branches.