Silence falls on Mil Palmeras on Poppy Day
Wreaths were laid by members of the local community following the Service
Silence fell among three hundred people on Sunday who were gathered around the Garden of Remembrance at the Capilla de las Mil Palmeras in the diocese of Pilar de la Horadada, to remember fallen military, comrades, family and friends.
Poppy-filled wreaths were laid at the base of the cross standing in the memorial garden and with seven-deep crowds surrounding the site on all sides Pipe Major Barry Waddington and the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums, led off a parade featuring former servicemen, women and a large number of local dignitaries.
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 Pilar de la Horadada, José Fidel Ros, and representatives of Orihuela Council, each bringing with them a sizeable delegation from their own communities. Paul Rodwell, the British Consul from Alicante, together with the Chairman of District North, Chris Wyatt, was also in attendance.
The Rev Terry Baxter, was officiating at his first Orihuela Costa service while, 16 year old Rebecca Holt attracted tumultuous applause following her magnificent solo performance of the Les Miserables classic ‘Bring him home.’ Piper Alex Hunter played the ‘Lament to the fallen’.
Exactly on the 11th hour, following the ‘sounding’ of the Last Post by Derek Hayes, everyone was united, standing shoulder to shoulder, for the two minute's silence, a 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.
The music accompanying the hymns was provided by the Phoenix Band under the Directorship of Julie Schofield and as tears were shed, the last post was sounded, lessons were read and appreciation was given as millions of forgotten men and women from all nations, were remembered.
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.
Following the laying of the wreaths British Consul Paul Rodwell said he felt privileged to lay a poppy garland on behalf of the British Government.
Keith Carter, chairman of the Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion, said the event was a great success with lots of residents coming out to show their support. He said "It has been a truly glorious day."
The Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion was formed in January 2008, and yesterday in Mil Palmeras it celebrated the 6th, and to date most successful, Remembrance Sunday in it’s relatively short history.