PREPARATIONS for this year’s Poppy Appeal are gaining momentum across East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire.
The Barton under Needwood branch of the Royal British Legion has been presented with a painting depicting the Battle of Britain Flight over the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, by artist Geoff Dryland.
The painting, together with other prizes, is to be raffled off at 50p per ticket, with all the proceeds going to the appeal.
Last year, a painting of a Spitfire dogfight helped raise more than £350.
Branch chairman David Sherratt said: “This is a very generous thing to do.
“The time, effort and skill that has gone into this is tremendous, and whoever has the winning ticket will have a unique piece of artwork that I am sure will be treasured forever.”
The village raised more than £6,000 for the appeal last year, an increase of £1,000 on the previous year, breaking the record collection figure for the second year running.
Mr Sherratt said: “Because of the pressing need for assistance to be given to serving and ex-service personnel of past and present conflict and their families, I hope we can continue to build on our previous success.”
At 11am on November 11, there will be a parade through the village led by The Cannock Pipe Band, followed by a service at St James’ Church.
There will be a short service at the war memorial, where the roll of honour will be read, followed by a service at St James’s Church, in Main Street.
The parade in Burton will see veterans, local cadet units, dignitaries and the public mark Remembrance Sunday by marching from the Town Hall to a service at St Modwen’s Church, in Market Place, and back.
Roy Whenman, chairman of the Burton branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “November is very important and our busiest month of the year, and it makes it extra special this year as Remembrance Sunday falls on the actual day.”
Stuart Allen, county vice-chairman of the Derbyshire Royal British Legion and vice-chairman of the Swadlincote and District branch, hopes that this year’s appeal in the area will top last year’s total of more than £30,000.
ANYONE preparing to launch Poppy Appeal events can call reporter Rob Smyth on 01283 524860.