Welcome to the Orihuela Costa and District Branch of The Royal British Legion
AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR.
Formed in January 2008, the Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion yesterday celebrated the 5th Remembrance Sunday in it’s relatively short history at the Capilla de las Mil Palmeras in the diocese of Pilar de la Horadada.
And it was not only members of the Expatriate Community who came out in force. The Service was attended by many representatives of the three main towns covered by the Branch, including the mayor of Mil Palmeras, and Pedro Mancebo, the deputy mayor of Orihuela, each bringing with them a sizeable delegation of their own. Chairman and Secretary of District North, Chris and Peggy Wyatt, were also in attendance.
The British Government were unable to send a representative as the British Consul in Alicante, Paul Rodwell, who was due to be at the event, was called back to UK late last week.
The church itself was filled inside and out with veterans, their families and guests as they all paid their respects to their fallen comrades, family and friends. Exactly on the hour, following a performance of the Last Post, which echoed out of the church and around the park, everyone was united, standing shoulder to shoulder, for the two minute's silence, time to reflect on the memories of friends, family and colleagues who had suffered or died in conflict in the service of their many nations.
Keith Brown was officiating at his final Remembrance service while, as well as providing a solo performance, Cathy Carson led the congregation in the hymns. The accompanying music was provided by the Phoenix Band under the Diectorship of Ian Vine.
Led by the Spanish National and the Union flags the standards of the assembled Military Associations were borne proudly to represent those who gave their lives, whilst poppies were worn as a reminder to new generations as they continue to face up to new conflicts.
The start of the service had seen the standards piped into the chapel by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums as, together, they played a medley of tunes. Cathy Carson broke down as she sang the song from Les Miserables, ‘Bring Him Home’. Such was the emotion that Cathy broke down in tears as she struggled to finish the Alfie Boe hit.
Following the service the congregation was led out of the church to the Garden of Remembrance for the laying of wreaths and the poppy crosses. All the guests took part with the members of the branch, other local military associations and each of the mayors and guests laying wreaths of their own. For members of the congregation this was a time to remember.
The wreaths were laid to the accompaniment of the Torrevieja Pipes and drums with 'Heroes of Kohima'.
A further ceremony carried out following the ‘laying of wreaths’ was conducted by Branch Welfare Officer Jim Watt who had recently gathered together a number of artefacts that he had saved since the formation of the branch in 2008.
The items amassed included the Branch Formation Certificate as well a short Branch History and numerous photographs and reports of Branch activities, including many from previous Remembrance Services. These were sealed in a ‘time capsule’ placed inside the Garden of Remembrance, to be opened in 25 years time by a future generation.
The Torrevieja Branch of the Royal British Legion, who were unable to gain the use of La Siesta Parish Church on Sunday, held their service a day earlier on Saturday 10th November. The Service was attended by the Alcaldi of Torrevieja, District North Spain TRBL Chairman and Secretary, as well as all the local British Ex Service Associations whose Standards were paraded on the day.