The bi-centenary of the battle of Albuera
May 16th, 2011, is the two hundredth anniversary of the battle of Albuera, one of the bloodiest of the Peninsular War. The small town of Albuera is immensely proud of its part on the battle and, each May, hosts a day of celebration, together with the Friends of the British Cemetery in nearby Elvas, to honour those who fought and died there.
The Friends of the British Cemetery was set up to restore both the abandoned cemetery and also the tiny chapel of S. Joao, which had been the military hospital in Wellington's time but which had fallen into serious disrepair. After long negotiations with the Archdiocese of Evora, the Friends were allowed right of usage and took on the responsibility for the chapel's restoration and maintenance. This was marked by a formal ceremony in which the bishop of Evora re-dedicated the chapel.
The picture below shows the Corps of Drums - Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, looking splendid in their scarlet uniforms, who were there to mark the occasion.
The seond picture (below) shows the Portuguese Infantry Regiment No 8. There are wearing original 1811 uniforms which were doscovered in an old cupboard in the now-disused barracks. Unfortunately, all the uniforms were too small for 21st century Portuguese soldiers, so the 'soldiers' on parade are, in fact, women!
Top photograph of the chapel of S. Joao was taken by the author, the other two are courtesy of http://www.british-cemetery-elvas.org/