Poppy Appeal launches across the area

THE sacrifices that the armed forces make are set to be remembered as the annual Poppy Appeal was launched.

Monday, 31st October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:54 am
Lisa Sloane from Gosport buys a poppy from army cadets Cpl Josh Reynolds, left, and L/Cpl Matthew O'Brien Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161271-2)

Respectful quiet was kept as dozens of shoppers stopped to watch the launch.

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, was handed the first poppy in Gunwharf Quays to mark the start on Saturday.

Cadets and standard bearers stood to attention as onlookers paid their respects.

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Havant mayor Cllr Faith Ponsonby at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Day at the town's Tesco Extra, with organiser Olive Rush and branch chairman Dave Argue, who presented a cheque for £1,000 Picture: Mick Young (161178-03)

Parade marshal Dean Deakins, of Waterlooville, told The News: ‘Portsmouth Poppy Appeal has just got bigger and bigger and it’s great that the people of Portsmouth have come out and stopped to witness the launch.’

A brass band played as the standards were lowered and raised to mark the occasion.

Onlooker Tina Heffernan, 54, of Copnor, said: ‘It’s very important that the younger generation remember.

‘Lots of people died during the wars to make our country the way it is today.’

Havant mayor Cllr Faith Ponsonby at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Day at the town's Tesco Extra, with organiser Olive Rush and branch chairman Dave Argue, who presented a cheque for £1,000 Picture: Mick Young (161178-03)

Organisers Louise Purcell, 50, and her husband Chris, 57, were at the launch.

Louise, of Adames Road, Fratton, said: ‘It’s absolutely amazing, the support in Portsmouth is unbelievable.’

Meanwhile, at Tesco in Havant, the Mayor of Havant, Cllr Faith Posonby, received the first poppy.

Appeal organiser Olive Rush said: ‘The younger generation are beginning to realise if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have a free country.

‘It was busy down there because the staff were dressed up for halloween.’

Music was provided by the Fine Voice Academy.

Havant branch Royal British Legion chairman Dave Argue also attended the launch on Saturday.