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Poppy Appeal honours those who made the sacrifice
Buy this photo » SILENCE: Standards are lowered as poppy petals float down from the upper windows of the city’s Guildhall (43163402)
petals rained down from Worcester’s Guildhall on Saturday marking the launch of the Poppy Appeal.
A large crowd gathered outside the Guildhall for the launch of the appeal while dignitaries including the Mayor of Worcester, Roger Berry, representatives of the Royal British Legion (RBL), veterans and cadets held a service to mark the start of the fund-raising appeal.
Tony Hartley-Woolley, Worcestershire RBL chairman, began the service by thanking all those who had attended, in particular Worcester soldier Tom Neathway, who lost both legs and an arm in an explosion in Afghanistan.
He said: “For people such as Tom, for past generations, for families, widows and children it is work we consider to be absolutely essential.
“We, the British public, have always stood and done what counts.”
Launching the appeal, the mayor said: “I am here to remind people what an opportunity it is to dig deep and put your hands in your pockets.
"It is with great honour I launch the 2012 poppy appeal in Worcestershire.”
A bugler sounded the Last Post before thousands of poppy petals descended onto the crowds from the top floor of the Guildhall as a two-minute silence was observed.
Alan Poyner, chairman of Worcester City RBL, which raised about £24,000 last year, said they hoped to equal that amount this year.
Charles Harding, who fought in the Worcestershire regiment in Germany during World War Two, said: “Worcester people have always been very generous.”
One of the Worcester appeal organisers, Martin Edgeworth, said he enjoyed meeting people while raising money for such a good cause.
He will be in CrownGate shopping centre collecting for the next two weeks.
Sea Cadet Jack Portman is helping for the second year and will be selling poppies with fellow cadets in the city on Saturday, November 10.
Anyone interested in helping with collections can call Mr Poyner on 01905 360034.
Gheluvelt’s dead are remembered
MORE than 100 people gathered to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Gheluvelt at a wreath laying service held on Sunday.
The service took place at the memorial in Gheluvelt Park and was attended by dignitaries including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Angela Brinton, Mayor of Worcester Roger Berry and MP Robin Walker.
It took place just a day after this year’s Poppy Appeal was launched and 11 wreaths were laid by representatives of organisations including the Worcester Branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association, which also organised the event, the Royal British Legion, cadets and the police.
Canon Paul Tongue, who conducted the service, recalled the battle of October 31, 1914, and announced the roll of honour, naming those killed of the 2nd Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.