Royal British Legion branches hope for Poppy Appeal 2021 support

Royal British Legion branches in North Kirklees are aiming to make this year’s Remembrance commemorations extra special to mark the 100th anniversary of the Poppy Appeal.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 7:00 am
Chairman Eddie Morton, left, and secretary David Walker, of the Spenborough branch of the Royal British Legion, in Cleckheaton Memorial Park

The 2021 appeal launches on Thursday, October 28 and runs until Remembrance Sunday, November 14.

After last year’s Remembrance events had to be scaled back due to lockdown, and fundraising activities were severely impacted by the Covid pandemic, branch members are hoping that members of the public will show their support, as they have done in the past.

David Walker, secretary of the Spenborough branch of the Royal British Legion, said it lost out on thousands of pounds last year as street collections could not go-ahead. But he hopes people will show their kindness again in 2021.

Peter Brierley, secretary of the Batley and Birstall branch of the Royal British Legion, at the Batley War Memorial

“We are very well supported in the town,” David said.

“We do find that people are very generous, mainly because the Royal British Legion is a well respected organisation.”

Plans are in place for the Remembrance Sunday parade, as well as a big event on November 11 when children from local schools will come to lay a wreath in Cleckheaton Memorial Park.

“It’s a very moving event,” David said. “It makes the children aware of what’s gone on in the past and all the sacrifices of the previous generations.

“Any ex-servicemen are very welcome to come along and join the parade. It’s a parade for the people of Spenborough.

“Anyone who has been in the services, put your medals on. We are here to honour those who have lost their lives.”

David praised Cleckheaton in Bloom for its work in the Memorial Park.

“The work they have done is tremendous,” he said.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that people give their time for free. There are still some good people about.”

This year’s commemorations in Batley will be particularly poignant, as a plaque containing new names which has been added to the town’s war memorial, thanks to a research project by Batley History Group, will be dedicated at the Remembrance service.

Peter Brierley, secretary of the Batley and Birstall branch of the Royal British Legion, said the branch has grown and grown over the past few years and lots of fundraising activities are planned for the 2021 appeal.

“For the Poppy Appeal last year we did one week and then they brought the restrictions back in and we had to stop,” he said.

“Apart from that, we have not been able to do anything at all.

“This year, we will have poppy sellers in Batley at Aldi and Tesco. Cadets will be selling poppies on the streets of Batley on November 13, and there will be a stall by Batley Town Hall.

“This year we are having a parade in Batley and Birstall on Remembrance Sunday.

“There are young people now coming along. It’s important that we remember and know why we are doing it.”