At a brief but very special ceremony on October 16th to acknowledge the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, the Mayor of Trowbridge, Councillor Peter Fuller, was pleased to accept the first poppy of the season from the Town Crier, Trevor Heeks. As can be seen from the photograph both gentlemen were demonstrating their Covid-19 awareness, suitably socially distanced and with their beaming smiles hidden by face coverings.

Councillor Fuller was full of praise for all those who volunteer for the Poppy Appeal every year and stated just how important this major annual fund-raising effort was for those benefitting from the appeal.  He said “As we approach Remembrance Sunday on the 8th of November and Remembrance (Armistice) Day on the 11th, we particularly recall the sacrifices which have been made by our armed forces through far too many conflicts over the years. We live in a county with many of those men and women who help to maintain the peace which is so hard to achieve in a dangerous world being stationed here.

“Not many of us will recall or even know that, at this time 78 years ago, our own Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry was involved in a very real life or death battle in North Africa. On 24th October and again on 2nd November 1942, they played a decisive part in the Battle of El Alamein, with subsequent loss of life and many casualties.

“The Poppy Appeal is our opportunity to help the RBL in providing much needed assistance to present day veterans, the armed forces community and their families at this most difficult of times. Please help towards the debt we owe, and buy a poppy.”

Mr Rick Owen, representing the RBL, said the virus risk would sadly limit this year’s effort to just one attended collection point, in The Shires shopping centre, where distancing and volunteer safety can be properly ensured. However, poppies will still be on offer in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco and in some shops and offices.

The annual appeal begins on Saturday October 24th and runs until Saturday November 7th and most of the familiar poppy merchandise will once again be available, including a very limited number of both 2020 enamel lapel pins and VE-Day75 pins – so be sure to pay a visit to the RBL stand in The Shires early to be sure of getting your special memento, paying tribute to those who gave so much . . .

Pictured (l-r) – Trevor Heeks, Councillor Peter Fuller, Rick Owen