WATCH: Soldiers reveal what the Royal British Legion means to them as the Poppy Day returns

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

The Royal British Legion is marking 100 years of remembrance

This year the Royal British Legion is celebrating its centenary - marking 100 years of remembrance.

And this year’s annual Birmingham City Poppy Day provides a great opportunity to celebrate the return of its street collectors who have been helping the charity to fundraise over the course of the century.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Over 200 members of the Armed Forces, supported by over 100 volunteers, were out in full force for Birmingham City Poppy Day - the largest one-day street collection in the Midlands.

The appeal aims to raise £50,000 across Birmingham - as well as awareness for the good causes it promotes.

Local TV Ltd

What happened at the Birmingham City Poppy Day?

The day included entertainment, including a military band, a 1940s singer and a Winston Churchill Impersonator at various city centre locations, including Grand Central.

A special ceremony where Birmingham’s emergency services and frontline workers paid homage to the UK’s fallen military at Brindleyplace on Westside was also held. Professor Carl Chinn recalled the history of Remembrance Day at that event.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The ceremony included performances by West Midlands Police Brass Band, conducted by retired policeman Cornell ‘Barney’ Barnes, who served 25 years in the Army and another 25 years-plus in the police before retiring aged 66 in 2016.

Local TV Ltd

Why Army veterans are supporting the Royal British Legion and what it means to them

Yanto Evans, Community Fundraiser for Birmingham British Royal Legion said: “Since 1921 the Royal British Legion has been supporting the Armed Forces community and their families, both past and present. There are veterans who have returned from active service and injury and sometimes the British Royal Legion is the only organisation that is in a position to help them.”

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal: Major Samantha Brettell, 11th Signal and West Midlands BrigadeRoyal British Legion Poppy Appeal: Major Samantha Brettell, 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal: Major Samantha Brettell, 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade | Local TV

Major Samantha Brettell, 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade said: “I think it’s important because being in the army and staying in the army for a number of years, whether it’s for 20 or so years and then to go into a mainstream job, well they are always part of this group, which is a veteran of whichever service they’ve been in.

“So sometimes they need that extra support, as anyone might find they need extra help throughout their life and the British Legion can provide that for veterans.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dan Parkes, British Army Veteran, said: “I was in Afghanistan in 2009. I caught a blast on my ear, it perforated my ear drum and to this day I suffer with tinitus and sensory hearing loss.

“So for me the Royal British Legion has helped in various ways, including financial help, getting the right sort of help for the injury that I had. So I want to return the favour, really - raising awareness and getting the funds in and being behind Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.