Veterans and supporters will be heading out on to the streets of West Norfolk to sell poppies to raise vital funds for current and former members of the armed forces.
As the country marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, this year’s poppy appeal is set to be incredibly poignant.
The first Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, inspired by John McCrae’s poem, was held in 1921 to help veterans who had been injured in the war and needed help.
Lynn poppy appeal collector Paul Giles is hoping people in the area will give generously in the weeks leading to Remembrance Day, adding that last year’s appeal raised more than £27,000.
Mr Giles said: “The Poppy Appeal is just as important today as it was in 1921. We have boys coming home from Afghanistan who need treatment as well as the older veterans.
“The Legion and the Poppy Appeal stem from the First World War. We would like people to give generously.”
Veterans were joined by cadets during a ceremony to launch the appeal in Lynn on Saturday.
Legion standards were paraded from the RBL club in Tower Street to the Vancouver Centre and they were supported by members of the town’s TS Vancouver Sea Cadets and 42F Squadron Air Cadets.
Following a short act of remembrance at 11am, West Norfolk Mayor Barry Ayres gave a short speech and cadets were also presented with poppies.
The Lynn Poppy Appeal is also looking for volunteers to man selling points in supermarkets. If you are able to help contact Mr Giles on 07721 901665 or call the legion club on 01553 767887.
The appeal was also launched in Downham on Friday when a small ceremony was held in the town square before members began to sell poppies from Wales Court.
Rose Gidney and Pat Holding manned the stall and were delighted with the response.
Mrs Gidney said: “The appeal got off extremely well as we raised £540.18. We also raised £195.50 by selling Royal British Legion goods.
“The stall was extremely good and well supported. People were very friendly.”
The ceremony was attended by Downham mayor John Doyle, together with county chairman Bill Kerr and also students from Downham Academy. Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Peter Mouncer is also running a poppy shop in the town.