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Suspects arrested over Poppy Appeal donation tin theft

Three people have been arrested over the theft of a poppy collection tin from a Holiday Inn.

A 22-year-old woman and two men aged 22 and 25 were arrested on suspicion of theft just after 2pm today.

The annual Poppy Appeal raises cash for the Royal British Legion Credit: Katie Collins/PA

They are now being questioned in connection with the theft of the donation tin from the hotel in Sandwell.

PC Wendy Wright, from West Bromwich police station, said officers had been "overwhelmed" by the amount of calls following an appeal earlier this week.

Remembrance Sunday is supported by the nation and this theft obviously struck a chord with a lot of people.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of calls I have received from the public offering support in helping us find the thieves.


Army commander: 'Poppies support veterans and wounded'

Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler, who is the army regional commander for the West Midlands, told ITV News Central what he believes the meaning of the poppy is.

He was in Birmingham today as members of the Royal British Legion were joined by the armed forces to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Military bands help launch Birmingham's Poppy Day

Members of the Royal British Legion have joined military bands in Birmingham’s Victoria Square ahead of this year’s Poppy Appeal throughout the city for Birmingham’s first Poppy Day - part of the charity’s Poppy Appeal 2013.

The Band of The Parachute Regiment perform outside Birmingham City Council House Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds of volunteers have been accompanied by five military bands and will spend the day on commuter buses, collecting at the railway stations and Birmingham Airport, and going into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to sell poppies and boost support.

The band recently supported troops in Afghanistan Credit: ITV News Central

The charity is hoping to raise £37 million this year with the appeal running until Monday 11 November. Every poppy sale helps to support the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families, by contributing towards ongoing practical care and support.

West Midlands buses first to wear poppies

West Midlands buses are to become the first company in the region to wear a poppy for Remembrance Day, after teaming up with the Royal British Legion.

Armed Forces personnel joined National Express West Midlands Managing Director Peter Coates to celebrate the first poppy earlier today Credit: National Express

Bus operator National Express has put poppies on 750 of its local vehicles and on Birmingham’s own Poppy Day, November 5, will be allowing veterans to sell poppies on-board its services.

It is the first time the bus company has put poppies on so many of its vehicles and allowed veterans to sell poppies on its commuter services.

The Royal British Legion veterans will be able to sell poppies to around one million local bus customers, raising much needed funds as well as the profile of this year’s Remembrance Day, which will be held on Sunday November 10.

Claire Rowcliffe, Midlands Regional Fundraising Manager for The Royal British Legion said: "It is great that National Express West Midlands has chosen to support The Royal British Legion by allowing the sale of poppies on their services and placing poppies on their buses.”

“This will allow our collectors to sell more poppies and make it easier for people to support The Royal British Legion on their way to work."


Heritage railway starts countdown to 2013 Poppy Appeal

It's a week until this year's Royal British Legion poppy appeal officially starts - but today fundraisers at the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster began their countdown to launch day.

Volunteers from the Royal British Legion were joined by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to collect donations for poppies in honour of those who have fought for their country.

The target for the Kidderminster branch this year is £35,000. All money raised will go towards supporting the families of Armed Forces servicemen and women.

National Memorial Arboretum "honoured" to host service

The chief executive of the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, has described hosting today's service as an "honour".

“The Remembrance period is of course a particularly busy time for the Arboretum, but this year, with Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday coinciding, our annual Service of Remembrance had to be on a much larger scale than usual.

“We are honoured to host such an important event and would like to thank everyone who attended, took part in or watched the Service and paid their respects to our fallen Service men and women.”

– Charlie Bagot Jewitt, the Arboretum’s chief executive
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