This year’s Poppy Appeal has been launched by Chatteris Royal British Legion.
Members of the Chatteris branch went along to Kingsfield School on Thursday and Glebelands School on Friday to launch the charity’s biggest fundraising event. The public launch came on Saturday at the garden centre on London Road, Chatteris.
On Thursday, Leon Jones from the Legion and chairwoman of the Women’s Section Jan Baynes went along to Kingsfield to talk in assembly. Jan took along her standard and they talked about the Poppy Appeal and what it means.
It was a similar set-up at Glebelands, with standard bearer Geoff Thompson going along. Leon was also accompanied by his granddaughter Aimee Thompson (23). Her dad fought in Iraq during the Gulf War and she took along his medals.
The launch on Saturday was led by branch chairman Major Norman Larke and members of the public were invited to attend.
The Legion cannot officially start to sell poppies until October 27, but this run-up is a valuable opportunity for members to raise the profile of the Poppy Appeal and bring the Remembrance celebrations to the forefront of people’s minds once more.
The origins of the Poppy Appeal began after civilians wanted a way to remember those who died in World War I.
An American War Secretary, Moina Michael, inspired by John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders’ Fields’, began selling poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-Service community. The Legion adopted the poppy for its fundraising in 1921.
Last year’s Poppy Appeal smashed all records, raising a massive £40 million.
• The Chatteris branch of the Royal British Legion is looking for people to sell poppies in the two weeks prior to Remembrance Sunday on November 11. There will be plenty of opportunities to sell poppies, including on a permanent stall in the Co-operative store, between October 27 and November 10.
Anyone who can volunteer some time or would like to help in any way should contact Norman Larke on 01354-694375 or Leon Jones on 01354-694326.