RBL News


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Legacies of D-Day exhibition

Thursday 6th June 2024

This year, the RBL have produced an exhibition to honour the service and sacrifice of the D‑Day Generation. Legacies of D‑Day will be on display at the site of the British Normandy Memorial in France and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire from 6 June.

The exhibition will be open to all members of the public, so please do come and visit us to commemorate the veterans of D‑Day 80. A preview of the exhibition will also be available on the RBL website from 13 May.

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King Charles Ⅲ is RBL’s new patron

Saturday 4th May 2024

The charity has held Royal patronage since it was founded in 1921 and The King will be the fourth monarch to serve as patron of the RBL following his mother, Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ, and George Ⅵ and Edward Ⅷ before her.

The King has his own record of service with the British Military and following the death of Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ, King Charles became Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces and now leads the nation in Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The King has been a long-standing supporter of the RBL’s work, attending the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance for the first time just days before his 20th birthday in 1968, joining the charity’s membership as an Honorary Serving Member in May 1976 whilst serving in the Royal Navy, and frequently undertaking engagements with the charity as The Prince of Wales.

The Legion is incredibly thankful for The King’s ongoing support as our new Patron.


Branch News

Runnymede College Summer Fair

Saturday 15th June 2024

On the fifteenth of June we held a recruitment drive at Runnymede College during their Summer Fair.

TGI Monday

Monday 10th June 2024

Our Monday evening social meetings are gaining momentum and we were joined today by a number of members of Brits in Madrid. Check the Events page for future dates and venues.

D-Day Commemoration

Wednesday 5th June 2024

In the afternoon of June 5th, we commemorated the 80th anniversary of D‑Day with 1st Majadahonda British Scouts. We had talks from our veterans about the Normandy landings and their own military service, the work of the RBL in Spain, and we ended with a wreath laying ceremony.

Recruitment Drive

Saturday 1st June 2024

On the first day of June we held a recruitment drive at King’s College Soto de Viñuelas and on the same day we covered the St. George’s Church Summer Bazaar.

Pub Quiz

Monday 20th May 2024

We held our first pub quiz at Paddy’s Irish Tavern in Madrid. We are expanding the number of social activities organised by the branch and we had a good turnout for our first Monday quiz. We hope to hold many more.

Sundowners on the Bridge Wings

Friday 17th May 2024

We celebrated our first anniversary as a branch with a wonderful party on Stephen McGlory’s beautiful rooftop terrace. The branch committee members attended together with members of the British Armed Forces in Madrid.

RBL National Conference

Friday 10th May 2024

This weekend, our Branch Chairman Richard Lewington and Vice Chair Fátima Díaz Béjar represented the branch at the Royal British Legion’s annual conference in Newport, Wales. As a new branch, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet fellow delegates, network and learn about our common objectives and goals for the future.

ANZAC Day

Thursday 25th April 2024

Our branch chairman Richard Lewington laid a wreath at ANZAC commemorations at the Australian ambassador’s residence in Madrid which was hosted by both the Australian and New Zealand embassies and led by their respective ambassadors, Ms Sophia McIntyre and Ms Tara Morton.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.

Spring Curry Lunch

Saturday 23rd March 2024

We held a very successful Curry Lunch on the 23rd of March. We raised nearly €500 for our branch funds, mainly thanks to the many generous gifts for the raffle, and a €100 donation. Many of the prizes were British food items and treats, which are easy to get on the coast but hard to find in Madrid.

A visit to the PCMMT

Friday 9th February 2024

Members of the Madrid Branch visited the Parque y Centro de Mantenimiento de Material de Transmisiones (PCMMT) in El Pardo, just outside Madrid.

The PCMMT is the Spanish Army’s signals procurement and maintenance unit. We visited their interesting museum, the “Exposición Tecnológica de los Medios de Transmisión”.

Spain District North Annual Conference

Tuesday 23rd January 2024

We attended Spain District North Annual Conference in Jávea on Tuesday 23rd January. We received the Fallen Hero Award - Special award for “having done extremely well from a standing start in 2022”.

We are very grateful to Jávea Branch for hosting the event and also to DAR Community Centre for their hospitality.

Christmas Dinner 2023

Sunday 17th December 2023

A traditional Christmas dinner served at The James Joyce Irish Pub.

St. George’s Christmas Fair

Saturday 16th December 2023

The annual Christmas Fair was held at St. George’s Anglican Church in Madrid on Saturday December 16th. We were there raising funds and awareness.

Quite a number of people stopped by to ask about our activities, especially Spaniards who were often unaware of the work of the RBL. We even had a Viking Santa, or so it was claimed.

British Ladies Association Donate €500 to Madrid Branch

Sunday 26th November 2023

The British Ladies held their annual Christmas bazaar on the 26th of November and we were there to fly the flag.

We are extremely grateful to the British Ladies Association and their chairman Christine Hawkins for their generous donation of €500 to RBL Madrid.

Remembrance Sunday 2023

Sunday 12th November 2023

The Remembrance Sunday Service was held at St. George’s Anglican Church. It was attended by HE Hugh Elliott, HM Ambassador to Spain, the defence attachés of various embassies, the 1st Madrid British Scouts, the 1st Majadahonda British Scouts, and the Madrid Branch of the Royal British Legion among many others.

The service ended with the reading of the Kohima Epitaph and the singing of the National Anthem.

Armistice Day Lunch

Saturday 11th November 2023

After the Armistice Day Service at the British Cemetery the Branch members and guests had a curry lunch and raffle, ably organised by Gordon, our Events Secretary.

Armistice Day Service

Saturday 11th November 2023

The service was attended by the Royal British Legion Madrid Branch, British Embassy staff, international and military guests, the España Chapter of the NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution), and members of civic organisations.

After the service, the España Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a monolith in memory of five USAAF servicemen killed in an aircraft accident in the Sierra de Gredos in 1947.

British Scouts

Sunday 5th November 2023

On November 5th we joined 1st Madrid British Scouts to talk about the history of the RBL, the significance of the poppy, remembrance and the work of the branch to the Cub, Scout and Explorer sections.

Memorial Service

Sunday 29th October 2023

A memorial service for WO2 John Newman, 2 QUEENS, was held at St George’s Anglican Church Madrid on Sunday 29th October at 11.30am.

Meet the British Armed Forces

Wednesday 18th October 2023

We hosted an evening with representatives of the three services. Joining us was Captain Stephen McGlory RN, Major Nigel Hunt RA, and Squadron Leader David Tucker RAF.

All three were interviewed on many aspects of military life by David Price. This was followed by a question and answer session and refreshments.

Spain District North Poppy Appeal Launch 2023

Saturday 14th October 2023

The Poppy Appeal 2023 was launched in Spain with a ceremony in Benidorm on Saturday 14th October.

The day started with a march in Playa de Levante led by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums. Following the pipers, were Mayor of Benidorm Antonio Pérez, British Vice Consul in Alicante Sara Munsterhjelm, and the Defence Attaché to the British Embassy Captain Stephen McGlory RN.

It was a very special day for us as our branch standard, carried by our Standard Bearer Gordon Sands, was dedicated by Father Richard Seabrook. This marks the final stage of our inauguration as a new branch of the RBL.

Thanks also goes to our other Standard Bearer Andy Moffat who carried the Union Flag.

Full English Breakfast Fundraiser

Saturday 22nd July 2023

We hosted a fundraiser at the Camden Coffee Roasters, one of the very few places in Madrid where you can find a full breakfast. Sadly the place closed the following month.

Recruitment Drive

Saturday 17th June 2023

During the month of June we held a recruitment drive at three different fairs and fêtes. The first was at King’s College Soto de Viñuelas on June 3rd.

On June 17th we attended the Runnymede College Summer Fair and on the same day we covered the St. George’s Church Summer Fête.

Coronation Street Party

Sunday 7th May 2023

The Royal British Legion Madrid branch’s first official event was the celebration of the coronation of King Charles Ⅲ and Queen Camilla.

We started the party toasting the King and Queen and then had a quiz on the British Monarchy.

There was a plethora of entertainment and we are very grateful to Janet & Alex Esclamado, The Madrid Players, Mad Improv, Matt Tyack, and Christian Bolorinos.

We raised a combined total of €907.10 for the Poppy Appeal and branch funds.

Royal British Legion Spain District North Inaugurates a New Branch in Madrid

Monday 28th November 2022

The Royal British Legion (TRBL) has welcomed the proposal to form its newest branch in Spain District North. The formation of the Madrid branch will become the first in the Spanish capital and the district’s fifteenth branch.

The inauguration for the formation of the Madrid branch took place at The Secret Kingdoms’ bookshop in Madrid and was led by Spain District North Chairman Jack Kemp and assisted by Spain District North Community Support Coordinator Pamela Twissell-Cross MBE, supported by Community of Madrid Assembly Member Deputy Elisa Vigil González and Captain Stephen McGlory RN, Defence Attaché to the British Embassy in Madrid who passed on the support and congratulations of His Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain and RBL Spain Patron Hugh Elliott. Veterans of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, serving members, and members of the public also attended the meeting.

The formation of the Madrid branch of TRBL will become a central point that will serve the needs of those veterans who have decided to stay more inland rather than move to the coast as well as tap into the opportunities that its position in the capital offers to raise funds for TRBL, Spain District North and the Poppy Appeal to support the Legion’s beneficiaries. “The formation of the Madrid branch has been a personal resolve for me to bring the same unity that TRBL provides around the world to those who live in this amazing city,” said Madrid Branch Chairman Richard Lewington. “‘Service not Self’ is the powerful motto of TRBL. Because what it means, is doing something that is at odds with what we might want or need. It is putting the good of community and nation above oneself, the belief that there is a goodness and a rightness in serving others rather than becoming self- indulgent; it is the ultimate case against cynicism. This branch of TRBL, when formed, will live up to this motto and honour its role as a centre for all those British service personnel who are in Madrid,” he added.

Captain Stephen McGlory RN, Defence Attaché to the British Embassy in Madrid said, “The baton needs to pass onto a new generation who have the responsibility to keep remembrance alive, and I am delighted to see that new generation – younger, with energy, with ideas here today. I congratulate Richard for all his work to take forward this idea to set this initiative in motion.” Richard will be supported by committee members Vice Chairlady Fátima Díaz Béjar, Treasurer Dominic McGrath (Veteran – Royal Signals), and Secretary David Price, owner of The Secret Kingdoms bookshop where monthly meetings will provisionally take place on the last Sunday of every month. Other committee roles are still to be filled.

The motion to form a new branch of TRBL in Madrid passed with zero votes against and no abstentions. The new branch now awaits its new branch number and authorisation from the legion membership council to form the full branch committee.

Read also the article in Sur in English (external page opens in a new window or tab)