THE new 10-year-old mascot of a South Derbyshire Royal British Legion group marked her debut in the role in a trip to Europe to honour war heroes.
Mia George joined members of Swadlincote and District Royal British Legion and South Derbyshire District Council in a trip to France and Belgium as part of commemorations of the First World War.
The group visited a number of museums and memorial sites as well as the battlefields and a cemetery where soldiers from our local regiments fell during the battle of the Somme.
They also attended the famous ‘Last Post Ceremony’ at the Menin Gate, in Ypres, and took part in a special wreath laying event.
The youngster said: “It was very exciting as I knew I would have some special moments and I could help the Royal British Legion out.
“I was very nervous but happy to have such a big part to play and I wanted to remember all those that gave their lives so I could have mine.”
Glyn Jackson, branch secretary, explained the reasons behind the idea of a branch mascot.
He said: “When I read in the national press about Accrington Branch appointing the first ever Royal British Legion branch mascot, I immediately thought of Mia, the daughter of branch members Matt and Kate George and asked if she would be interested in taking on the role for our branch.
“Mia, who has taken part in several fund-raising events over the past few years, raising hundreds of pounds for the Poppy Appeal, loved the idea.”
He went on to discuss the recent visit to the Western Front.
Mr Jackson added: “The evening was truly memorable and was made extra special by the choir of the Osprey Rugby Club Supporters from Wales who sang during the ceremony as wreaths were laid.
“The evening finished off with us looking for the names of family members and local soldiers.”