Fareham Poppy Appeal is launched

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing back into Portsmouth

PICTURE GALLERY: HMS Queen Elizabeth sails back into Portsmouth

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SHOPPERS stopped in their tracks to honour a two-minute silence held to launch the start of this year’s Poppy Appeal.

The Royal British Legion returned to Fareham Shopping Centre outside Boots, to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

(l-r)  Harry Marrington (89), Vicki Hollins (86) and Niamh Tyrrell (12) at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in Fareham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (133001-071)

(l-r) Harry Marrington (89), Vicki Hollins (86) and Niamh Tyrrell (12) at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in Fareham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (133001-071)

Dignitaries, veterans and volunteers all came to show their support and to open the stall, which will be selling Poppy Appeal items until November 11.

Organiser Vicki Hollins, 86, who has held the role for 41 years, said: ‘It’s important that people know what happened in the past.

‘All those men who gave their lives for this country should be remembered.

‘With the Poppy Appeal, it is not just about people my age, we need the younger ones to learn what those people gave their lives for. We should never forget them.’

Each year the nation shows its support for the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families, by wearing a poppy.

This year the appeal hopes to raise £37m nationally.

Shopping centre manager Mike Taylor said: ‘We like to host the Royal British Legion every year.

‘Everyone knows where they are and we hope to get a lot of people coming along and donating.’

Centre administrator Sylvie Hasson said: ‘Our heart is really in it. It’s probably the best cause that I know. I admire all those who volunteer to collect the money.’

Veteran Harry Marrington, 89, from Cotswold Walk, Fareham, was proud to be volunteering on the stall.

Mr Marrington was one of five British sailors from the convoy escort Olvina on Omaha beach during D-Day.

Mr Marrington said: ‘It will be 70 years next year, which will be the big anniversary.

‘There are no First World War veterans left now and it won’t be long until we are all gone too. It is important that people learn and remember what happened.’

He added: ‘I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and allowed the Royal British Legion to help all the young people coming back from wars. ’

Mayor of Fareham Cllr Susan Bayford said: ‘It’s a fantastic appeal and it brings together people from all different walks of life. It helps us to remember all the people who have sacrificed their lives.’

The Poppy Appeal stall will be in Thackeray Mall, outside Boots and H Samuel every day from 8.30am until 4.30pm until Sunday, November 11, when a service will be held at 11am.