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Armed Forces can claim free drink at Marston's pubs this Remembrance Sunday

Customers are asked to present their military ID, medals or discharge papers

Current or former serving members of the armed forces can treat themselves to a free drink this Remembrance Sunday - courtesy of Burton brewing legend Marston's.

Marston's is offering a free pint of Foster's or any draught ale excluding Guinness, 175ml glass of house wine, J20, Pepsi or lemonade to anyone who has served or is a serving member of the armed forces.

The offer is available at any Marston's Inns and Taverns pub managed by the company, including the Anglesey Arms in Winshill, the Red Lion in Repton, and the Catchems Inn, in Swadlincote.

A spokesman for Marston's said: "It's a small token to show our gratitude for the incredible work the armed forces do to keep us safe."

Veterans can enjoy commemorating the lives of fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate price fighting for their country. Remembrance Sunday will see hundreds of people gather at multiple events across the area to mark their respects.

Glyn Jackson, chairman of the Royal British Legion in Swadlincote said: "It's a lovely gesture from Marston's pubs to offer free drinks. I know they have done it for a few years and it goes down very well.

"A lot of us enjoy going down to the pub after the Remembrance Day service.

"We have been asked by quite a lot of pubs and businesses in Swadlincote to supply them with decorations and poppies in preparation for Sunday."

Customers are asked to present their military ID, medals or discharge papers to claim their drink on Sunday, November 12. The offer, however, is not valid in leased and tenanted pubs.

Why is the poppy such an important symbol?

In spring 1915, after losing a friend and fellow-serviceman in Ypres, Belgium, a Canadian doctor was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in the downtrodden fields where troops had fought.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae took it upon himself to write a now-famous poem called In Flanders Fields to express how he felt as he looked upon the bright red flowers.

After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance as a nod to Lt Col McCrae's amazing piece of writing.

An RBL spokesman said: "This inspired an American academic, Moina Michael, to make and sell red silk poppies which were brought to England by a French woman, Anna Guérin.

"The RBL, formed in 1921, ordered nine million of these poppies and sold them on November 11 that year.

"The poppies sold out almost immediately and that first ever Poppy Appeal raised over £106,000; a considerable amount of money at the time.

"This was used to help World War One veterans with employment and housing. The following year, Major George Howson set up the Poppy Factory to employ disabled ex-servicemen. Today, the factory and the Legion's warehouse in Aylesford produces millions of poppies each year."

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