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Wiltshire Poppy Appeal 2013 launches in lost village of Imber
Eddington youngster Harriet Woodward hands over the first poppy to Wiltshire Council chairman Christine Crisp
This year’s Wiltshire Poppy Appeal launch was held today in the poignant location of St Giles Church in the lost village of Imber.
Guests were taken to the uninhabited village on the training grounds of Salisbury Plain in a Routemaster bus, driven by Transport For London commissioner Sir Peter Hendry.
They were greeted with a performance from the Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir.
The funding target for Wiltshire this year is £550,000, which will go towards the Royal British Legion’s national target of £37m to continue its vital work delivering direct, practical care and support to the Armed Forces community.
MP for West Wiltshire Andrew Murrison said: “There is a huge need for the good work the Royal British Legion does and the Poppy Appeal is where it gets so much of its funding to enable it to carry out that work.
“I will be rattling a tin and I hope people will be generous, as they always are in this area, and I hope the £550,000 will be exceeded.”
Pupils from Bratton Primary School and Kiwi Primary School in Tidworth helped with the presentation of several cheques towards the cause.
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Hyde, poppy appeal organiser for Bratton, accepted a cheque for £1,500 presented by Andy Hobbs, landlord of The Duke in Bratton, through a number of events at the pub.
Mr Hyde said: “The cheque is a good start. Today has been brilliant and exactly what we want to get people interested.
“People are very generous in their donations and we have been getting more and more from the village over the last 20 years.”
Mike Swabey, the Royal British Legion county chairman, accepted a cheque for £2,204 from Sir Peter, who raised the money through the Imber bus service he runs for one day every year from Warminster to Imber, the village that was evacuated during the Second World War when it was taken over by the Army as a training ground for the D-Day landings.
The schoolchildren also presented the first Wiltshire poppy to chair of Wiltshire Council Christine Crisp.
She said: “Wiltshire is a very military county and it is very important we remember those who have served and support the Royal British Legion.
“I have a son who is a soldier so I am conscious of their dedication and feel we ought to do everything we can to support the British Royal Legion and the Armed Forces.
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