THE poignant sound of a bugler playing the Last Post rang out around a shopping centre at the start of Fareham’s Poppy Appeal.
Shoppers stopped in their tracks to mark the occasion with a two-minute silence.
Fareham’s mayor and mayoress Mike and Anne Ford were at today’s event, in Fareham Shopping Centre, along with representatives from the Royal British Legion and the shopping centre management.
Cllr Ford said: ‘It is an extra special occasion and it is great to see that people still remember throughout the years and still buy a poppy.’
Mike Taylor, shopping centre manager, said: ‘We are immensely proud to have the appeal back again for another year.
‘It has become an established venue to buy poppies from and to help a great cause.
‘We hope this is extremely successful and I encourage everybody to visit the centre and donate to the Poppy Appeal.’
Mike Homer, organiser for Fareham, said he hopes to raise more than £30,000 this year, beating last year’s total.
A stall will be outside Boots selling poppies, pinbadges and other items, until November 11, when another service will be held to mark the appeal’s end.
RAF veteran Ted Burridge, who has helped the Poppy Appeal for more than 20 years, will also be collecting at the entrance near to the library.
The 79-year-old said: ‘We are delighted to see so many people already.
‘It’s all in memory of the boys that never came home.’