King’s Lynn poppy seller Cyril, 92, vows to continue charity stand

The wife of a war veteran says that her husband will continue to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal until he can no longer stand.

Cyril Route, 92, has volunteered for the charity for more than 45 years, helping to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Launch of King's Lynn and District Poppy Appeal, by Borough Mayor and Mayoress, outside the Poppy Appeal Shop in New Conduit Street, King's Lynn 
Presentation to poppy seller for 40 years service, LtoR, Cyril Route (93) (40 years service), David Norman (RBL KL&D Chairman), Ken Jones (RBL KL&D President), Borough Mayor David Whitby. ANL-161030-084754009

Launch of King's Lynn and District Poppy Appeal, by Borough Mayor and Mayoress, outside the Poppy Appeal Shop in New Conduit Street, King's Lynn Presentation to poppy seller for 40 years service, LtoR, Cyril Route (93) (40 years service), David Norman (RBL KL&D Chairman), Ken Jones (RBL KL&D President), Borough Mayor David Whitby. ANL-161030-084754009

And his time and efforts to support the appeal each year haven’t gone unnoticed after he was presented with a plaque at the launch of this year’s appeal on Saturday.

Mr Route’s wife Joan, who has helped her husband sell poppies over the year’s, said: “Cyril will carry on regardless until he conks out.

“He has had ulcers on his leg but he will carry on until he can no longer stand.”

Mr Route, from North Lynn, has been selling poppies with his wife Joan since the early 1970s.

Five standard bearers, local dignitaries and other representatives made their way from the Royal British Legion in Tower Street to the Poppy Shop in Lynn’s New Conduit Street.

Joan, 89, said: “When we first started selling poppies we were allowed to go into town one Saturday only.

“We used to do house-to-house collections until retirement and also when the supermarkets came into town.

“We’ve both really enjoyed it and have met some lovely people along the way.

“Cyril has done more than me. He hasn’t done it for his own benefit, he’s just wanted to help others.”

Joining the Army in 1942, coming up for the age of 18, Mr Route served in the East Surrey Regiment in the African desert.

He was part of the Desert Rats, delivering ammunition to the troops, before he was shipped out to Italy towards the end of battle.

It was here that he suffered serious injury.

He was hospitalised in Salonika, Greece, for a year before returning to the UK in February 1947.

His memories of serving in the war and those of his fellow servicemen is firmly etched in the back of his mind when helping the appeal.

Mrs Route says: “Cyril lost a lot of good friends in the war. It is always at this time of year when he suffers nightmares.

“The Royal British Legion does a fantastic job in helping both those currently serving today and ex-serving men and women.

“Seeing the support they provide makes it worthwhile.”

David Norman, chairman of the Lynn branch of the Royal British Legion, believes Mr Route is a shining example to others.

Mr Norman said: “For someone of his age and health to support the work we do year after year is outstanding.”

He hopes that Mr Route will serve as an inspiration to others.

“We are always looking for more help and volunteers to come forward during the Poppy Appeal,” said Mr Norman.

“We’ve had a problem getting volunteers this year so it would be nice to attract a few more.”