Shoppers show support for Poppy Appeal

The 2012 Portsmouth poppy appeal is launched at ASDA in Portsmouth. Former RAF man Eddie Chamberlain wears the poppy suit.'''Pictures: Ian Hargreaves  (123509-5)
The 2012 Portsmouth poppy appeal is launched at ASDA in Portsmouth. Former RAF man Eddie Chamberlain wears the poppy suit.'''Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (123509-5)
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COVERED in hundreds of poppies, RAF veteran Eddie Chamberlain turned up at a supermarket to encourage people to wear one in the run up to Remembrance Day.

The former aircraftman and the current chairman of the Royal British Legion Portsmouth branch visited the Asda store in Fratton as part of the launch of the city’s poppy appeal.

Mr Chamberlain, 78, was joined by other members as they sold poppies, poppy wreaths, remembrance wristbands, mugs and crosses to shoppers.

The appeal was hailed a success because 3,000 items were sold in just three hours by 10.30am on Saturday and thousands more were taken by the end of the day.

Mr Chamberlain’s outfit – a boiler suit covered in poppies – was made by his son Guy, 52, and Guy’s wife Annie, 65.

Mr Chamberlain said: ‘The launch of the appeal was a huge success.

‘It’s so important that people continue to remember those who have lost their lives.

‘I received quite a few compliments and surprised looks from people.’

Former Royal Navy Petty Officer Chris Purcell also attended the launch on Saturday.

Mr Purcell, of Adames Road, Kingston, Portsmouth, served on HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War and lost 20 of his comrades in the conflict.

Mr Purcell, who served in the navy for 20 years, said: ‘This is about honouring people who have and are currently serving in conflicts.

‘There are also many people around who have been mentally scarred by wars and we need to raise money to support them too.’

Last year’s poppy appeal in Portsmouth raised £70,000.

Navy Lieutenant commander Andy Millard, who is based at Whale Island, said: ‘I am going to be medically discharged in the next few months and I may need to call on the support of organisations such as The Royal British Legion.

Tim Perry, 50, of Queens Road, Buckland, bought a poppy.

‘It’s important we remember those who have given their lives for us,’ he said.

Poppies will be on sale until November 11.