The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal took off in Bury St Edmunds last Saturday with an official launch yards from where the Remembrance Day parades take place.
It has taken months of preparation by Poppy Appeal honorary organiser Pip Davies and her army of volunteers to prepare and distribute at least 500 collecting tins around the town to shops, businesses and all the supermarkets.
Pip said: “People see the volunteers behind the displays in supermarkets but it’s also all the people who give their time and petrol to take all the boxes out to factories and shops – most of them have done it for years.”
She praised the generosity and support given in Bury, from individuals or from companies, including the Angel Hotel hosting the launch attended by St Edmundsbury Mayor Julia Wakelam.
Pip added: “West Suffolk College’s public services students have helped us this year, which is wonderful.”
The fund supports the Royal British Legion in its work to support anyone who has drawn at least a week’s pay in the services, and their families – not just the veterans of World Wars.
“There’s a wide variety of support,” Pip explained. “If you’ve got a service number, the Royal British Legion will be there for you.
“Whether it’s children needing support because of injury or loss of their fathers, or someone with problems with stress, you’re not turned away.
“It’s a shame, perhaps, that people don’t always go for help, though there’s help out there.”
The appeal leads up to Armistice Day on November 11, the day the guns fell silent at 11am in 1918.
There will be a remembrance service at the war memorial on Angel Hill at 11am next Friday, organised by the town council.
A few miles away in Davers Court Care Home on Shakers Lane, the residents, with family an local service people, will be marking remembrance from 2pm.
They now have a marble remembrance book in the garden, which has prompted memories of their childhoods during World War Two.
If you cannot get to Friday’s remembrance service in Angel Hill, there is another in the Abbey Gardens’ Rose Garden at 2.30pm the following day and the full Remembrance Sunday parade and wreath laying, attended by past and present service people, on Angel Hill from 10.30am on Sunday November 13.
That is followed by a remembrance service in St Mary’s Church at 11.30am.
Parades and services will be held across the county at the same time, on village greens, town squares, churchyards and roadsides.
In Mildenhall, the traffic on the A1101 will be stopped for the duration of the service at the town’s war memorial, on the junction of Kingsway and King Street. Many passing motorists stand beside their cars during the two minute silence.
There is a Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at The Apex, Bury, at 7pm on Armistice Day, featuring the RAF Honington Voluntary Band and The Voice Squad Youth Choir. Tickets are £12 from the Apex box office at www.theapex.co.uk