The launch of the 2011 Poppy Appeal, which is aiming to break previous years’ fundraising totals by raising £40m, was yesterday attended by Members of HM Armed Forces.
The appeal, which is celebrating its 90thanniversary this year, raises funds needed to support those currently serving in Afghanistan, veterans of past conflicts, and their families.
The 2011 campaign has been launched with an online campaign and a chart-destined official single recorded by the Bee Gee’s Robin Gibb and forces pop sensations The Soldiers. At the launch The Soldiers performed the official Poppy Appeal song for 2011, I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.
This year’s Poppy Appeal involves a new social media campaign where members of the public can to log on to shouldertoshoulder.org.uk and pin a poppy to an online photograph, add a message of support, and place it alongside thousands of others on an interactive wall.
The Poppy Appeal distributes around 45 million poppies, 100,000 wreaths and sprays and 750,000 Little Remembrance Crosses which are all made at the RBL’s Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey.
In his capacity as Royal Honorary Colonel of the regiment, The Prince of Wales will salute 60 soldiers of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry, from the Territorial Army, at Newcastle’s Grey’s Monument.
The regiment then marches on through the city centre behind a convoy of tanks, and flanked by army cadets and veterans. The Prince will be joined by Coun. Geoff O’Brien, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, and the Duke of Westminster, for the procession.
The Duke to Westminster, who is the Honorary Colonel of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY), and the Lord Mayor will before the parade inspect the service men and women before they set off at 11am.
Also marching with the soldiers will be a large number of Army Cadets and old veterans. They will be led by 12 CVR (T) Scimitar tanks and music from The Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, said: “We are delighted his Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will be sharing this special day with us and I am looking forward to welcoming him and the servicemen and women of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry to Newcastle for this important occasion.
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Graham, the Commanding Officer of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry, said: “It is a real privilege to be given the Freedom of Newcastle, and a formal salute from our Royal Honorary Colonel, The Prince of Wales.
“The Queen’s Own Yeomanry is celebrating 40 years as a Regiment in which we have deployed soldiers all over the world, wherever a conflict has taken place.
“We currently have 30 QOY soldiers serving alongside their regular counterparts in some of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.