THE public have not forgotten us and that means so much.
That is the message from Second World War veteran Frank Rosier.
The 89-year-old from Cowplain said he was impressed to learn that a record total of more than £90,000 has been raised in Portsmouth as part of this year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
The money is used to support veterans of former conflicts and current servicemen and women and their families.
Mr Rosier said: ‘I wish the government and previous governments appreciated us as much as the public does.
‘The public are always amazing to us and that’s reflected in the money that has been raised.’
Mr Rosier was 18 when he fought in the Second World War with the Gloucestershire regiment, and took part in the D-Day Normandy landings.
During the conflict Mr Rosier lost an eye.
He added: ‘Until two years ago I would collect money with the British Legion.
‘From little children putting in a few pennies to older people knowing what happened on D-Day, the public always contribute.
‘It’s the support veterans should have, and those currently in the services, should get, and do from the public.
‘It’s important the message is passed on.
‘What does D-Day mean to people?
‘It’s not something you can hear, or see, or taste or feel.
‘But what happened gave us freedom, which we could not live without.
‘So I thank the public for the donations.’
Mr Rosier was a member of the Portsmouth branch of the Normandy Veterans Association.
The Poppy Appeal raises money every year thanks to donations from generous members of the public.
Louise Purcell is the appeal organiser for the Portsmouth area, where this year the record total of £91,321 has been raised.
She said: ‘This is a record amount, which is an amazing amount and almost £20,000 up on last November.
‘The people of Portsmouth are so generous.
‘I think with the events of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the 100th anniversary of the First World War this year, this has raised people’s awareness of remembrance, and the importance of it.’