County poppy appeal launches

By Tim Clarke Wednesday 31 October 2012 Updated: 02/11 13:56

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Buy photos » Cadet Sean Wylie, 13, sells poppies to shoppers on Worcester High Street. 4412006MMR1

RED poppies rained down from the sky as the Last Post rang out to mark the launch of this autumn's Poppy Appeal in Worcestershire.

A large crowd of people gathered outside Worcester Guildhall on Saturday (October 27) to join those including dignitaries, veterans, cadets and Royal British Legion officials for a short but poignant ceremony.

Among those present was former Worcester soldier Tom Neathway who lost both his legs and an arm in an explosion while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2008.

Hundreds of poppies were released from the top floor of the Guildhall as a bugler sounded the Last Post and a two minute silence was observed in remembrance of those killed in conflict.

RBL County chairman Tony Hartley-Woolley said: "It was lovely to see people come out and support us.

"Despite all the newer ex-service charities that have started in the last few years we still have huge support for the Poppy Appeal and we have been very fortunate to get something in the region of a nine to ten per cent increase in donations each year in Worcestershire.

"That is tremendous when you consider there has been a recession and so many people are struggling for money."

Mr Hartley-Woolley said they hoped to raise as much as £600,000 in the county this autumn to help support ex-servicemen and women.

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