By Guest Writer Jackie Kennard - CEREMONY AT THE BRITISH CEMETERY, ELVAS 14TH MAY 2018.
Welcoming speech by Major Nick Hallidie.
Your Excellency’s, My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests – Welcome.
We are privileged that both the British and Irish Ambassadors are with us today. British Ambassadors have come to our ceremony several times over the years, but this is the first time an Irish ambassador has been here, and it is very proper that you should be here today. The Wellington’s Army had a large number of Irishmen in its ranks. Wellington himself was Irish, well, Anglo-Irish. Not only were there Irish regiments, but all the British regiments had many Irishmen serving in them. Although the crushing poverty in Ireland at the time was an incentive to enlist, the fact is that the Irish like fighting and are very good at it. A prime example was the Connaught Rangers, known to Friend and Foe as ‘The Devil’s Own’. At the battle of Busaco, they fought side by side with the Portuguese 2nd Regiment of the Line. Both regiments were so impressed with each other that a firm bond was established. Every year on the anniversary of the battle, complimentary messages were exchanged, until the Connaught Rangers were disbanded when Southern Ireland gained independence.
It is now 22 years since we were founded, and we are, justifiably, I think, proud of our achievements. We now have over 300 members, stretching from the Caribbean to New Zealand. We even have a few members in France.
Stewart Streeting, late Divisional Sergeant Major to the Queen’s Division, then introduced the following speakers:
NB *This competition was the idea of Col Nick Lipscombe, who proposed the idea that the FBCE should present a trophy in Elvas, along the lines of the "Best at English" award presented by the PWRR in Albuera in 2017. The school was very happy that this initiative sets the precedent for future year.
Luis Santos sounded “The Last Post” and after two minutes silence “The Reveille”
END OF CEREMONY
At the end of the Ceremony, Nick Hallidie thanked all for attending and said he had a received a request from one of the members, Brian Hazard, who would like to propose to his girlfriend, Margo, which he did and she accepted. Brian and Margo then made their way to the Chapel where the Reverend Fran Le Blanc blessed their union in a service of Holy Matrimony.
After the Remembrance Service at the Cemetery, a lunch was held at the Varchotel, Elvas, where 67 sat down to lunch and a fund raising auction was held.
In the evening at the D. Luis Hotel, Elvas, Major General Rui Moura gave a talk on the “History of a Traitor” followed by a buffet supper where 25 attended.
HISTORY OF A TRAITOR by Major General Rui Moura
Manoel Ignácio Martins Pamplona Corte Real (1760-1832), was in 1817 awarded the French title of Baron of Pamplona by Louis XVIII of France and in 1823 with the title of Count of Subserra by D. João VI. He was Born in Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, a native of the Azorean nobility with roots going back to the first settlers. He was a student at Coimbra University where he obtained a degree in mathematics.
He joined the Portuguese army as an officer and later volunteered in the Russian army, during the reign of Catherine II, participating in the Crimean campaign against the Turks (1787-1791). Later he joined the army of the Duke of York in the struggle against Revolutionary France, participating in the battle for the French city of Valenciennes (1793).
After returning to the Portuguese Army, he participated in the Campaign of the Roussillon, again against Revolutionary France (1793-1795), but he was dismissed for insubordination. Later, in the Portuguese Legion, he fought under the flag of Napoleon, being present in the campaigns of Portugal, Austria, Poland, and Russia.
In 1806 he married Isabel Antónia do Carmo de Roxas and Lemos Carvalho e Menezes, widow of a subordinate and heiress of the vast fortune of the Casa da Trofa and its “morgadios”, who he had from his previous marriage, a baby daughter, Maria Mância de Lemos Roxas Carvalho e Menezes, born in 1805.
He was an author and translator of publications on the Peninsular War, and he was also the editor of the “Contemporâneo”, a political and literary publication, published in Paris (1820).
With a short but distinguished political career, Minister of War in 1821, he was elected a member of parliament by the Azores in 1821-1822 to the “Cortes Constituintes”. He was prime minister to King D. João VI, between 1823 and 1824. He was the ambassador in Madrid in 1825and he supported the absolutists and the liberals on different occasions, changing sides frequently.
He was a Portuguese citizen, naturalized French (1818). Freemason. Sentenced to death in Portugal for high treason (1810) and given an amnesty by the Cortes (1821). Arrested by order of D. Miguel (1828-1832), died in the prison of the Fort da Graça, in Elvas (1832).
Military, politician, writer, journalist. A controversial and contradictory personality, of which there are only partial and incorrect biographical records published.