Concert launches Poppy Appeal

A pop concert for armed forces families has launched this year's Poppy Appeal. Thousands of service personnel and their families wore their poppies during the concert at RAF Northolt in north London.

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Prime Minister shows support for Poppy Appeal

Prime Minister David Cameron has shown his support for this year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal by posing outside Downing Street this morning with the Poppy Girls.

David Cameron poses with The Poppy Girls outside 10 Downing Street, ahead of the Royal British Legion's 2013 Poppy Appeal. Credit: PA

The five-strong singing group, aged between 10 and 17, are the daughters of five men serving in the Armed Forces and have released a fundraising single for the Royal British Legion's appeal.

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Poppy appeal: interesting facts

  • The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields" by Lt Col John McCrae. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow on soldiers' graves
  • In 1918, American Christian worker Moina Michael, inspired by the poem, published "We Shall Keep the Faith". She vowed to always wear a poppy and began distributing them at conferences
  • Until 1996, poppies were made by disabled veterans in Canada, but have since been made by a private contractor
  • A team of about 50 people - most of them disabled former British military personnel - work all year making millions of poppies at the Poppy Factory in Richmond
  • To commemorate animal victims of war, Animal Aid has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red one
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Nation's poppies produced in Kendal

The Poppy Appeal launch Credit: ITV News

The Cumbrian launch of this year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal at the James Cropper mills at Burneside near Kendal.

The factory makes all of the paper for the country's poppies.

The factory makes the paper for all of the poppies nationwide Credit: ITV News
Members of the armed forces gather for the launch Credit: ITV News

Face of Poppy Appeal: Legion helping my stage career

Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, who is helping to front this year's Poppy Appeal, lost his lower right limb in a blast while serving in Afghanistan in May 2011.

He has since participated in a theatre project run jointly by the Legion and The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, which aids the recovery of service personnel.

He told ITV's Daybreak how the Royal British Legion is helping him look to the future.

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Soldier injured in Afghanistan on Poppy Appeal posters

Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, 32, of 42 Commando Royal Marine, who lost his lower right limb in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in May 2011, will be at a concert to kick off the Poppy Appeal 2013.

He features on the Poppy Appeal posters as a beneficiary of the Royal British Legion which supports serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, 32, of 42 Commando Royal Marine. Credit: Royal British Legion

He took part in a theatre project run jointly by the Legion and The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust to aid the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, playing the lead role in the Two Worlds of Charlie F, an original play created through the project.

He said: "The theatre project funded by The Royal British Legion was a turning point in my recovery. While the medical teams put my body back together, taking part in the play Two Worlds of Charlie F gave me back my self-esteem and confidence when it was at its lowest ebb.

"I've now started an acting career and I know the Legion will support me and my family, as it does with hundreds of service personnel every year in the transition from military to civilian life."

Pop concert to kick off Poppy Appeal 2013

The Saturdays will perform at a pop concert for armed forces families. Credit: PA Wire

A pop concert for armed forces families will kick off the Poppy Appeal 2013 later.

Thousands of service personnel and their families will wear their poppies during the concert, at RAF Northolt in north London.

Star acts include girl group The Saturdays, X Factor boy band Union J, pop singer Tich, Britain's Got Talent finalists Luminites, and The Poppy Girls, who will sing the official Poppy Appeal 2013 single The Call (No Need to Say Goodbye).

The Royal British Legion's (RBL) national fundraising target for 2013 is £37 million.

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