Poppy Appeal 2020 - The West Country remembers the fallen during the coronavirus pandemic

The West Country has found lots of ways to mark Remembrance, despite the pandemic. Credit: ITV West Country

People and organisations across the West Country are finding new ways to mark Remembrance Day during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Royal British Legion is calling for people to observe a two minute silence on their doorsteps at 11am on Remembrance Sunday. It says it is a way to "play your part from home" to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflict.

The Royal British Legion is inviting people to download posters from its website to show their support. Credit: Royal British Legion

The charity helps members of the armed forces, veterans and their families and sales of poppies, which fund that work have been hit by Covid-19. It is asking people to donate online and download posters to put up in their windows.

Find out how you can #rememberathome here.


D-Day veteran Reg Charles will be taking part in 'Poppies to Paddington' on 11 November. Credit: The Veterans Charity

97-year-old D-Day veteran Reg Charles from Weston-super-Mare will be staying home on Armistice Day during lockdown but he will play a big part.

Reg - the last surviving member of the heroic glider assault on Pegasus Bridge in 1944 - will be sending a poppy wreath by train to be placed on the war memorial at Paddington Station.


'Poppies to Paddington' has been organised by The Veterans Charity and GWR trains and involves more than 100 wreaths being taken to London on nine Great Western Railway trains in time for the Remembrance Day Service at 11am.

The arrival of the poppies and the service will be broadcast live on GWR's Facebook page on 11 November.

95-year-old D-Day hero Harry Billinge, who had a train named in his honour in October, will also be sending a poppy wreath from his home in St Austell in Cornwall.


Dan Panes from GWR says, "We all know how much change the pandemic has brought to everyone’s lives but we are determined Remembrance Day should be marked in the best way possible."Poppies to Paddington allows all those organisations who would usually be present for the Remembrance services at London Paddington and around the region to pay tribute to the fallen by laying a wreath. We are proud to be able to help in this way."

15-year-old army cadet Ethan Fairbrother has raised hundreds of pounds for the Poppy Appeal. Credit: Sharon Fairbrother

Young people have also been doing their bit. One teenager from Cornwall has been raising money for the Royal British Legion by doing a 'Poppy Run'.

On Remembrance Sunday, 15-year-old Ethan Fairbrother will be doing an 11 mile run in aid of the Poppy Appeal.

Ethan, who lives in Ruan Minor on the Lizard, is an army cadet and hopes to join the Paras when he leaves school.

I wanted to run to help those who gave everything for us to be here. It was the least I could do. As a cadet and a relative of servicemen, I felt it would be wrong to just sit around and do nothing, so I decided to give some back to those who gave all.

Ethan Fairbrother

Ethan has already raised more than £1,000. You can follow his progress and support him here.

Ethan taking part in his 11 mile run on Remembrance Sunday. Credit: Sharon Fairbrother


While poppies are going up in windows across the region, a number of places have come up with impressive displays in honour of those who served.

The fountain at Kingsteignton has been yarnbombed with poppies. Credit: Michelle Lewis-Clarke

In Kingsteignton in South Devon, the local WI - Post Meridian women's institute - which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, took time out to create hundreds of handmade poppies. They now decorate the Fountain in the town in tribute to those who gave so much.

St Mary's Church in Callington in Cornwall has been transformed with a wave of 9,000 knitted poppies. Helen Dowdall, from Callington Town Council says "there's been a real strength of feeling this year".

The metal poppies at the Bishop's Palace mark the sacrifice of Somerset servicemen during World War I. Credit: Bishop's Palace

The Bishop's Palace in Wells has planted 2000 metal poppies in The Quiet Garden to provide a socially distanced way to mark Remembrance. It remains open to visitors during lockdown and the poppies will be on display until 12 November, the day after Armistice Day.

Originally 7,986 poppies were made for the centenary of the end of World War I in 2018. They represented the lives of servicemen from Somerset lost during the conflict.

Many were sold in 2018 to raise money for SSAFA and The Wells Branch of the Royal British Legion but some were kept for each year "as they had been taken to the hearts of the local people of Somerset."

The dedication of the Somerset Wood near West Monkton in 2018. Credit: Somerset County Council

Although Somerset's usual civic Remembrance events will not take place in 2020, there is a permanent living memorial near West Monkton. The Somerset Wood was created with the assistance of Taunton-based 40 Commando in 2018.

It commemorates the 11,281 Somerset men and women who gave their lives for their country during the First World War.

When completed, there will be 14,000 trees over a 12-hectare site. So far, 2,000 trees have been planted and there are plans for a further 2,000 to be planted between November and February.

Bude's iconic satellite dish has been lit up in red to support the Poppy Appeal. Credit: GCHQ

This is the fifth year in a row that the satellite dish at GCHQ's listening station in Bude has been lit up for Remembrance. It will be seen at night for miles along the North Cornwall coastline.

The intelligence service works with the country's armed forces and says the lit-up dish is "designed to represent a single poppy standing in silent and respectful vigil".

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