1. ITV Report

Poppy seller Ron Jones honoured with special pin

Ron Jones is the UK's oldest poppy seller Credit: Wales News Service

Britain's oldest poppy seller has been honoured with his own commemorative pins.

Ron Jones, who survived Auschwitz, is being celebrated by the Royal British Legion. The charity has issued the pins to mark Ron turning 100.

Ron, who is from Newport, will sign each pack himself before they go on sale ahead of this year's Poppy Appeal.

Each pack contains a pin from 1914 to 1918 to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War and to celebrate Ron's birthday.

Credit: Wales News Service

I am very proud – very proud indeed to have this honour.

The Royal British Legion does such great work for raising money for former service personnel. I still give what I can to them.

I'm very grateful that people still take an interest in me and my stories, and part of that ties in with the work for the Legion.

People are still surprised by my memory, particularly the schoolchildren.

– Ron Jones, poppy seller

The packs will cost £23 each - that price chosen to remember Ron's age when he went to war in 1940 after being born in 1917.

Gwent Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Mike Jones said: "I decided it would be a good idea to commemorate Ron's 100th birthday as well as him receiving his British Empire Medal this year.

"I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to make something out of them. There are 100 packs available for 100 years."

Grandfather-of-two Ron, a soldier in the Welsh Regiment, was held by Nazis at Auschwitz prisoner-of-war camp for two-and-a-half years alongside the main extermination camp.

He left the camp near the end of 1945 as part of the Auschwitz death march - when the Nazis forcibly moved prisoners as the Soviet army came to liberate the camp.

For more than four months Ron was marched 900 miles across Europe before eventually being freed by American troops.

Lynne Woodyatt, the Royal British Legion's community fundraiser, said: "Ron is a remarkable gentleman.

"These commemorative Poppy pin packs, marking both his 100th birthday and him receiving the British Empire Medal are a wonderful idea, and we thank him for allowing them to be produced in his name."