poppy field

Spain District North

Remembrance Services



Tributes to the queen on Poignant Remembrance Day

Once again a number of Remembrance commemorations have been held around the Vega Baja and Costa Calida to honour those who have lost their lives in conflict. This year was particularly emotional, being the first for many years to be observed without the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth, who sadly passed away in September.

During her 70-year reign the late Queen, who lived through World War Two, only missed seven Remembrance services - including in 2021 due to a back sprain.

A two-minute silence first took place across the region at 11am on Friday’s Armistice Day, marking 103 years since it was first observed on 11 November 1919, and then again the same homage was paid at similar events two days later, on Remembrance Sunday, when many more branches of The Royal British Legion chose to hold their services.

Rain affected Friday’s commemoration, held in the Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción. Despite this the Plaza de la Constitución had been splendidly adorned for the occasion by the Torrevieja authorities.

The service was led by Fr Richard Seabrook and attended by the mayor, councillors and other representatives of the town council, along with members of the Torrevieja Branch of the Royal British Legion, invited guests and the Chairman of Spain, District North.

Following the service, wreaths were laid by the mayor and chairlady Pam Wilding.

The Hondon Valley Branch held it’s service in La Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Salud, Hondón de los Frailes, in the presence of the Consul Elizabeth Bell, a representative of the Diputacion of the Alicante Government and the Hondon mayor, while a service was also held by Murcia Branch in the Memorial Garden, Camposol Sector A.

Sunday’s Remembrance Day services included one attended by the Royal Family at the Cenotaph - the first since the death of the Queen.

During the service, which the Prince and Princess of Wales also attended, King Charles laid a poppy wreath incorporating a ribbon of his racing colours of scarlet, purple and gold.

A wreath was also be laid on behalf of Queen Consort for the first time, while she watched from the balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building.

Prince William laid a wreath previously laid by his father, featuring the white Prince of Wales feathers and a new ribbon in Welsh red.

On Sunday afternoon, the Gran Alacant and La Marina Branch hosted the District Remembrance service in Gran Alacant’s Masa Square but once again it was the commemoration held by the Orihuela Costa and District Branch that attracted by far the most significant congregation.

Growing year on year the service held in the tiny Capilla de las Mil Palmeras attracted a crowd of well over 600 people, all wishing to pay their respects. While approximately 150 veterans and guests were packed inside the church a further 500 gathered outside to watch the service on a giant screen, kindly provided by the Ayuntamiento, Pilar d la Horadada.  

The service was attended by the Mayor, José María Pérez Sánchez, and councillors of Pilar de la Horadada, a town that always provides exceptional support to the RBL.

British Vice Consul Sara Munsterhejlm was also in Mil Palmeras where she read a lesson before laying a wreath on behalf of HMA in the Garden of Remembrance. Wreaths were also laid by the Mayor of Pilar de la Horadada, the Orihuela Councillor of Foreign Residents, along with at least a dozen other military, political, charitable and neighbourhood formations. These were followed with the placing by mourners of approximately 40 wooden crosses.

As had been the case in Torrevieja on Armistice Day, the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums led the Mil Palmeras event while the Royal British Legion Concert Band in Spain provided the music.

The Branch chaplain, Fr Andrew Rea, was assisted by Steven Treseder as he delivered the 45-minute service.

Local schoolchildren Angelina and Leticia carried the peace candle, reciting a prayer for peace in both English and Spanish.

The last post and reveille were played by former Royal Green Jackets and Rifles bugler, Mark Benton after which ex Scots Guards Pipe Major, Brian Day, played a lament, both following reveille and during the wreath laying ceremony.