The Band of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron ATC joined ex-service veterans as they assembled with their standards for a parade through the centre of Nuneaton to herald the start of the 2009 Poppy Appeal Collection.
The Nuneaton & Stockingford Branch of the Royal British Legion, launched its Poppy Appeal, on Saturday 24 th October. It was an occasion for both Old Soldiers and Younger members of the towns youth organisations to stand side by side in an effort to heighten awareness of the appeal and help it off to a flying start.
As Standard bearers, ex-servicemen and women, serving members of the armed forces gathered on the steps of the Town Hall the Air Cadet band helped to set the mood by playing several wartime favourites before the parade moved off into the centre of the town for ceremony to launch the appeal.
This dignified and emotive ceremony brought the Nuneaton town centre to a virtual standstill as people gathered to remember those who have died in conflict. During the ceremony the standard bearers from the Royal British Legion, other ex-service organisations and Cadet Forces dipped their standards, in salute, for two minutes of silence.
Following the ceremony cadets from 121 Squadron joined other Poppy Appeal collectors as the general public began making donations. Shoppers and passers by were also entertained by the 121 Squadron band as they played a variety of wartime favourites and other popular tunes.
Parade Marshall, and veteran of the Korean War, Jesse Owen said, “It is so important that we have the support of the young people of the town to help us to bring the Poppy Appeal to the attention of the public and I am particularly pleased to have been able to have the young men and women of the Air Cadet band on parade with us today. They always do us proud.”
Flt Lt Crewe Officer Commanding 121 Squadron said, “The cadets welcomed the opportunity to help the RBL with the Poppy Appeal. It is important that the younger generation understand the real meaning of the poppy collection and why Remembrance Day is so significant”.
He added, “Cadets from all three services will be out collecting in the town again next weekend doing their bit to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Hopefully the people of Nuneaton will be able to give generously and do their bit to help the Royal British Legion , to safeguard the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served in the Armed Forces”.