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Urgent appeal for poppy collectors

It began 91 years ago to help service personnel returning from World War One. The Poppy appeal, just a few weeks away now, remains one of the most popular and iconic mass fundraising campaigns in this country.

But many long-term stalwarts of the appeal have had to hang up their collecting tins due to their age.

The Royal British Legion needs a new generation of volunteers to help make sure that the donations continue to roll in, as Martin Dowse reports.

Prison sentence for stealing poppy collection box

Jonathan Effiong-Gordon Credit: Thames Valley Police

A man has been sent to prison for stealing a poppy collection from a library in Bracknell.

Jonathan Effiong-Gordon, aged 32, Halewood, Bracknell, was imprisoned for four weeks after pleading guilty to theft at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (12/11).

At about 3pm on 6 November, Effiong-Gordon used scissors to cut a cable tie that connected the collection box to reception at the library in Town Square

Effiong-Gordon then removed the contents of the collection before discarding it.

Effiong-Gordon was arrested and charged on Remembrance Day.


School children create ceramic poppy display

Ceramic poppies Credit: Hart District Council
Ceramic poppies Credit: Hart District Council
Ceramic poppies Credit: Hart District Council

Hawley Place School has created a visual masterpiece after making 560 poppies out of clay in recognition of Remembrance Day.

Over a period of three months, parents, students and staff at Hawley Place School have been working to create a ceramic poppy display. The children - aged from two to sixteen - worked in small groups to create, press, glaze and assemble the poppies.

The project was led by Mr Ghani, Deputy Chair of Hawley Place Parents’ and Teachers Association (PTA). The inspiration for the poppy making came from both the Paul Cummin installation at the Tower of London and the school’s own bi-annual Battlefields trip, which took place this year at the end of the summer holiday.

Speaking about the project Mr Stone, Principal at Hawley PlaceSchool, said: “We are fortunate to have such an active and involved PTA, who through their commitment and dedication to the school have produced an outstanding memorial to those who gave – and continue to give – their lives for us. The entire Hawley community has been involved in this inspirational activity which will be remembered for many years to come.”

On Friday 7 November Cllr Myra Billings, Chairman of HartDistrict Council, was invited to meet staff and students involved in theproject. Alongside the Chairman, veteran Jack Brant was invited as a thank you for his long standing service to the community by raising more than sixteen thousand pounds over the past few years selling poppies outside Waitrose in Frimley, on behalf of the British Legion.

Cllr Myra Billings, said: “This is an absolutely marvellousproject and I think that the children, by doing this project, have gained agreater understanding of what remembrance services are all about. My thanks to everyone involved in this fantastic display, including the PTA, school staff,children and the local businesses that were involved.”

The poppies will be on display over the next week. Following this they will be given to the person who sponsored the creation of the poppy. Hawley Place School hopes to raise over £2,000 for the Royal British Legion from the sale of the Hawley Place poppies.

Poppy Appeal collection box taken

Police want to speak to a man and woman after poppy appeal collection box was stolen Credit: Hampshire Police
Police want to speak to a man and woman after poppy appeal collection box was stolen Credit: Hampshire Police
Police want to speak to a man and woman after poppy appeal collection box was stolen Credit: Hampshire Police

Police have released a CCTV image of a man and a woman they want to speak to after a Poppy Appeal collection box was stolen in Denmead. The incident happened at around 4.40pm on Friday, November 7 when a man and a woman entered the Southern Co-op, Hambledon Road. After walking around the store, the man distracted the cashier while the woman stole the collection box, which was at the till.

This was a disgraceful crime which is disrespectful to those who have given so much for our country. I would urge everybody to look at these pictures and get in touch with us if you recognise these people, or have any other information that could assist our inquiry.

– PC Sarah Newman

Berkshire's poppy appeal campaign launched at Newbury race course

The launch of this year's poppy appeal got off to a flying start in Berkshire with an Armed Forces Day at the Newbury Racecourse.

Ten thousand people enjoyed a unique combination of racing, remembrance and recruitment... as Richard Slee explains.

Poppy collection stolen from hospital

Police want to speak to this woman about the theft of a poppy collection box Credit: Hampshire Police

Police investigating the theft of a poppy collection box have released CCTV of a woman they want to speak to.

The 10-inch tall red collection box disappeared from the outpatients’ reception desk between of Romsey Hospital in Hampshire on November 6.

The woman is described as white, 5ft 6ins tall, with short brown hair.

She wore a brown bomber-style jacket with black trim around the neck, black leggings, ankle boots and a poppy.

Anyone who can identify the woman in the photograph is asked to contact PC Richard Goddard at Romsey on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity line on 0800 555 111.

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