The band of 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron Air Training Corps joined representatives of the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations in the Nuneaton Market Place for a ceremony to mark the launch of the 2010 Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
The Nuneaton & Stockingford Branch of the Royal British Legion launched its Poppy Appeal, on Saturday 30th October. It was an occasion for both Old Soldiers, younger members of the town's cadet forces and other 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 led by a Bugler, Piper and Drummer, Cadet Flight Sergeant Robert Allan, moved off into the centre of the town for the ceremony to launch the appeal.
This dignified and emotive ceremony to launch the 89th annual appeal, brought the Nuneaton town centre to a virtual standstill as people gathered to remember those who have, and are still, putting their lives on the line for their country.
During the ceremony led by The Mayor, Cllr Don Navarro, and representatives from 30 Signal Regiment, the standard bearers from the Royal British Legion, ex-service organisations and cadet forces dipped their standards in salute for a minutes silence in between the Last Post and Reveille.
The Mayor of Nuneaton & Bedworth, councillor Don Navarro spoke of the importance of contributing to the cause, saying, "The Poppy Appeal is not just about buying a poppy and wearing it for a while, it is a confirmation of the recognition of the contribution that our Armed Forces personnel have made and continue to make, within our country and in hostile zones around the world." He also took the opportunity to thank all the volunteers and members of the Cadet Forces for their vital support for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
The Nuneaton & Stockingford Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal organiser, Archie Smith said, “Last year the generosity of Nuneaton 's citizens saw a record collection. We hope to equal if not beat last years record this time”. He added, “Conflicts end but the caring doesn't, I would ask everyone to donate whatever they can afford, no donation is too small”.
Following the ceremony cadets from 121 Squadron joined other Poppy Appeal collectors as the general public began making donations.
Shoppers and passers by were entertained by 1940's Singer, Madeline Brown and the Air Cadet band which played a variety of wartime favourites and other popular tunes. The band's drummers also relished the opportunity to accompany the piper.
Flt Lt Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said, “The cadets always welcome 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 and are still serving in the Armed Forces”.
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