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Letter: Appeal support appreciated

The poppy of the Royal British Legion was taken from a poem written by John McCrae in 1915, a Canadian army medic who in the first world war looked across the battlefields to see the bright red poppies growing around the crosses that marked the graves.

And he wrote ‘In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses row by row.’

In 1921 Earl Haig adopted the poppy as the symbol of the legion and it is known throughout the world.

The Poppy Appeal raises money to help and care for our military personnel who have suffered injuries in combat over the years and, in doing so, is still as important today.

1914-18 - the war the politicians in grey suits in Whitehall said would be over by Christmas, 1914, and would also be the war to end all wars - how wrong could they be?

Twenty two years later we were fighting for our very existence again.

The first world war saw thousands of young men and boys sign up for the King’s shilling, many lying about their age, and went to France and Belgium to fight in the trenches.

No one told them of the horrors they were about to face.

Men returned home with terrible injuries ­— some walking as if drunk. Hospitals and nurses didn’t know how to treat this condition.

In the second world war it was known as shell shock. Today, it is PTSD, and we are better now at treating it.

This year, we had the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and 75th anniversary of VJ Day ­— all affected by the coronavirus, but in some small way we managed to remember them.

In among the horrors that befell our Servicemen and women, we remember the civilians ­— the small boats of Dunkirk taken by their owners, the sailors of the Merchant Navy, the railwaymen, the fire service who fought the Blitz in London, Liverpool and elsewhere, farm workers and owners.

Hopefully, we will return next year with a parade and standards, but as of now we must remember all people who lost their lives in conflicts all around the world.

Thank you Newark Town Council for allowing, with all safety measures in place, and our stall on the market; to all our volunteers who came and stood over the five days in the cold and sometimes rain.

Most of all, thank you to the public who once again supported us. The stall raised £4,000.

When we have everything in from the shops I will let you how much was raised.

In the meantime, remember the bright red poppy ­— the symbol of remembrance and peace that all troops of the Commonwealth fought for. ­— PAUL SPRECKLEY, Poppy Appeal organiser, Newark branch of the Royal British Legion.

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