The Veterans and their Standards following Remembrance

More than five hundred enthusiasts from Spain were joined by aficionado’s from Germany, Poland, Belgium, Italy, Australia, India, France, England, Portugal and the United States at the 6th National and 4th Murcia edition of the ‘Relive History through Film’ re enactment weekend, a spectacular staging of many of the most important battles in history.

The event was organized by the Codex Belix Association, in co-operation with the city of Murcia, the Ministry of Defence and a number of local companies. It was attended by over 50,000 people in

cluding Consuls, Defence Attachés and other diplomats from a number of embassies, following the formal opening on Friday afternoon by Municipal representatives and Murcia’s director of Codex Belix, Javier Muñoz.

The main campsite and display area was established in the Gardens of Malećon alongside the river where there were dozens of stands manned by re-enactors depicting military history through the ages, complemented by activities for all the family who, primarily, had gone along to enjoy the mock battles and the static and vehicle displays.

For WW11 enthusiasts the vehicles on show included more than fifty historical civilian and military vehicles including a German anti-aircraft gun which was used in the Spanish Civil War, an American M-41 tank and a German truck that was used in the film ‘Valkyrie’ starring Tom Cruise.

The first re enactment took place on Friday afternoon in the Plaza de Santo Domingo when scenes from the 1944 Warsaw Uprising were played out.

That was followed on Saturday morning by a Napoleonic re-creation tribute to the Count of Floridablanca (1810), and then on Saturday afternoon, the main event of the weekend, a short remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony in the Gardens of Malecon.

The service itself was conducted by representatives of Murcia Town Council, the Spanish Foreign Legion and its airborne Division. The wreath was laid by Terry Watson, President of the Torrevieja Veterans Association. It was followed by a Veterans Parade which included two Chelsea Pensioners, Wayne Campbell and Skippy Teasdale, who had flown over especially for both this event and Wednesday’s launch of the RBL Poppy Appeal in Spain. They were joined by well over two hundred members of the Costa Blanca Service Associations, The RBL, RNA, RMA and RAFFA.

Following the parade we then stood in awe as, for almost an hour and a half, we watched the re enactment of the WW11 ‘Operation Plunder’, the 21st Army Group’s crossing of the Rhine, which began on the 23rd March 1945 and had involved Twenty-Nine Divisions.

The crossing was led by a heavy artillery shelling and supplemented by an airborne operation (Operation Varsity) by the American 17th Airborne Division and the British 6th Airborne Division and was one of the final stages of World War II causing the breakdown of the German army.

On Saturday afternoon in Murcia the Codex Belix Association replicated the battle in Murcia City Centre, along the Paseo Teniente Flomesta and across the Rio Segura in front of 5,000 captivated spectators.

One re-enactor who had travelled from Kent, Michael Jolly, has been doing this around the world for eighteen years and shared what he thinks the crowd likes the most.

"They like the action of the tank and the halftracks rolling around, they are always good for the spectators, the explosions, the gunfire really makes the whole thing so very authentic, and in Murcia they did a really good job."

Sunday was a little more laid back for the participants with another opportunity for the spectators to visit the main campsite and its static displays in the Gardens of Malecon.

The day was concluded by a military vehicle parade and then the final re enactment of the Liberation of Paris, also known as the Battle of Paris after which the Mayor of Murcia brought down the curtain on what had been an excellent weekend of nostalgia and history in support of a hobby that is quickly growing in momentum here in Spain amongst people both young and old and from all walks of life.

If you didn’t take the opportunity to go along this year then do make sure that October 2015 is put into your diary now!

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45258/

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