Nottinghamshire schoolgirl and D-Day veteran launch 2023 Poppy Appeal

  • ITV News Central Correspondent Peter Bearne reports from Chilwell

The 2023 Poppy Appeal launched with a short ceremony at a Midlands naval reserve centre - and a D-Day veteran and a schoolgirl who's one of the Royal British Legion's youngest fundraisers have helped launch this year's Appeal together.

The traditional red poppies have "gone green" this year, with a makeover designed to make them kinder to the environment

Ted Rutland, who is 100 years old, took part in the D-Day landings. Whilst a soldier with the Royal Engineers, he survived an aerial bombardment which claimed the lives of many of his comrades.

He said: "It was alright for me, I was lucky." Mr Rutland added that people should buy and wear poppies "for all those that we've left behind."

At the age of eight, Thea Price is one of the Royal British Legion's youngest poppy-sellers in the region.

She says she was "a bit nervous" before the appeal launched "because it is [her] first time on TV."

Thea added that wearing a poppy "shows that you show love for the people who fought in the army and that you respect them."

The 'cascade' of poppies bears the names of Midlands servicemen and women killed in action. Credit: ITV News Central

Today's launch was also an act of remembrance, with a cascade of nearly 20 thousand poppies made specially for the day unveiled at the naval base.

Each poppy bears the name of a Midlands serviceman or woman killed in action.

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