Mayor urges generous support to the Poppy Appeal

Poppy appeal raises over half the Royal British Legion income each year

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Wandsworth’s Mayor Cllr Jim Maddan is urging residents of the borough to give generously to this year’s Poppy Appeal.

The annual Poppy Appeal, organised by the Royal British Legion, raises funds to provide practical help to ex-servicemen and women and their dependants, especially during times of hardship and distress. The appeal provides around half of the legion's income each year.

Every year the legion spends around £45m on welfare assistance. This included helping widows and relatives visit the graves of loved ones, providing residential and nursing home places, making tens of thousands of visits to the housebound and long term sick, providing welfare breaks for thousands of people recovering from an illness or bereavement and representing around 3,000 veterans and their descendants at war pension appeal tribunals.

Around £10m is provided each year in welfare grants for disabled ex-servicemen and women and on helping equip people for civilian life through interest free small business loans and job training.

The first donations for artificial poppies were given in Britain on 11th November 1921, inspired by John McCrae's ( a doctor serving wit hthe Canadian Forces) 1915 poem 'In Flanders' Fields':

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ fields.


Wandsworth Council has arranged for poppy collection boxes to be placed around the town hall and civic offices in order to assist the appeal.

Cllr Maddan said: “At a time when Britain's armed forces continue to face great peril while on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would urge everyone to do all they can to support the vitally important work of the Royal British Legion.As well as the current conflicts, no-one should ever forget the enormous sacrifices that have been made by members of the armed forces in two world wars, the Korean War, the Falklands conflict, Northern Ireland, the first Gulf War and more recently in Bosnia and Kosovo.

“The Royal British Legion does an incredibly important job assisting those who fought and who suffered in these wars and their dependants. By giving generously to this appeal you can help support those who have given so much for their country.”

November 10, 2006