THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION officially launched its 2023 Poppy Appeal for the Valencian Community and Murcia region last Saturday with its annual Benidorm procession.
The march started on Avenida de Castellon, with standards and participants from local branches led by music from the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums.
Other groups and individuals involved included the Phoenix International Concert Band and the RBL District Bugler -Mark Benton.
The march finished up on Avenida de l’Atmella de Mar in the Rincon de Loix where a series of speeches were given.
Guests included Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, Alicante’s British Consul Sara Munsterhjelm, the Military attache from the British Embassy, Captain Stephen McGlory RN, as well as RBL officials.
Toni Perez welcomed everybody and emphasised the ‘extraordinary bonds of friendship’ that unite the British and Spanish people.
He highlighted wearing a poppy as a ‘symbol of sacrifice’ to ‘honour the fallen and to support those who loyally served their flag and their country’.
The day also marked a special occasion for the Madrid Branch of the Royal British Legion with their Standard dedicated by Father Richard Seabrook.
After the official speeches, the national anthems of Spain and the United Kingdom were played to close the ceremony.
Although the RBL in Spain collects money throughout the year, last Saturday’s event marked the start of the main collection period leading up to Remembrance Sunday on November 12.
Funds raised remain in Spain to support a growing number of ex-Service personnel who need the Legion’s support.
The RBL has around 4,000 members in the country- of which around a thousand live in Alicante province.