The 2019 Poppy Appeal has been launched in Melton with a service organised by the town branch of the Royal British Legion in Memorial Gardens.
People across the borough have consistently raised more than £20,000 from the fundraising campaign with all of the proceeds this year being used to support serving and former members of the armed forces and their families.
Major Carolyn Bates, representing the Defence Animal Training Regiment, is shown in our main picture planting a cross during Saturday morning’s service, where prayers were said and the Last Post was played by Phil Hardy.
Legion members were in attendance with their female colleagues from Keswick House and representatives of Melton Borough Council and Melton Town Estate.
The annual Remembrance Sunday parade in Melton will be held on November 10 while the traditional Remembrance Day service at the town’s legion headquarters in Thorpe End will be the following day at 11am.
A service to launch the countywide Leicestershire & Rutland Poppy Appeal was held on Friday at historic Beaumanor Hall, in Woodhouse, Loughborough - a Victorian country house owned by the county council which was chosen for the launch because of its historic connections throughout the Second World War when it was used as a secret listening station by the Allies to intercept encrypted enemy signals.
County council chair, Councillor Pam Posnett, said: “We feel really honoured that the Royal British Legion hosted the launch of its local Poppy Appeal at Beaumanor Hall.
“It’s clear from Beaumanor’s history that the building itself and the people who worked there played a vital role in supporting the war effort and, to this day, we share the stories with the many people who visit the hall.”
Guests at Friday’s launch included D-Day veteran Arthur Thompson, who served in the Royal Navy and former French resistance member, Renee Warner.
The act of Remembrance was delivered by ColRobert Martin, president of the RBL in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Other dignataries attending the event included Mike Kapur, the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, his Rutland counterpart, Sarah Furness, and Lord Mayor of Leicester, Annette Byrne.
A number of Ab Kettleby villagers have recently undertaken a community project to commemorate this year’s Remembrance Day with a display of hand-knitted poppies, which can be seen in St James’ Church on the first two weekends in November, between 10am and 3pm.
The theme of the display will link the parish’s patron saint, St James the fisherman, most particularly to Dunkirk and also the anniversary of the D-Day Landings, but encompasses all service personnel with marine involvement during wartime.