A time to reflect and remember our fallen heroes

L-R Army Cadet James Cadd and Sea Cadet Emily Tredwell at last year's Remembrance service parade in Banbury. NNL-140911-172323009
L-R Army Cadet James Cadd and Sea Cadet Emily Tredwell at last year's Remembrance service parade in Banbury. NNL-140911-172323009

As Banbury and the surrounding villages get ready to remember our fallen heroes from the First World War, this year’s Poppy Appeal is already in full swing.

Banbury will fall silent once again on Sunday as hundreds of people get set to remember the fallen heroes who have died while serving our country in armed conflict.

The town has always been great at coming together at this time of year and Sunday’s event in the town centre will be no different. Organised by Banbury Town Council, the parade will be from the town hall and Broad Street from 10.15am with military personnel marching up High Street and on Horsefair upto St Mary’s Church for a 10.45am service.

Followed by the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial in People’s Park at about noon, a return parade will march back to Broad Street for dismissal. Banbury Town Mayor Tony Mepham said: “I think it is important that we remember the sacrifices that people given over the years and for our freedom. It seems there is more more people attend Remembrance services every year. The memorial service in People’s Park seems to get bigger and bigger each year with more wreaths being laid.

“It shows that Banbury appreciates the sacrifices people made for our country.”

Councillor Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council and president of the town’s Royal British Legion group, said: “This is a very poignant time of year for those who has loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“We at the Royal British Legion are extremely proud of the way Banbury supports us and had a record-breaking year when the town raised the most money in Oxfordshire, totalling £44,000. We want to keep this momentum going and we hope Banbury will support the legion this year.”

Members of the Royal British Legion also gathered at The Forum in Towcester last week to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in South Northamptonshire.

Over the next few weekends Poppy Appeal collectors will be at many of the supermarkets and shopping areas throughout the district to help raise much needed funds by the charity, which will then be used to help war veterans.

Councillor Roger Clarke, chairman of South Northamptonshire District Council, said: “It is absolutely right that South Northamptonshire Council is not only seen to be supporting the Poppy Appeal but is also actively involved in promoting it.”

The Brackley parade starts at 2.15pm on Sunday with a service on the Piazza at 3pm. The wreath laying ceremony on the Piazza on Wednesday, November 11 takes place at 3pm.

There will also services in Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour on Sunday.

Help make this year a record breaker

As Banbury and the surrounding villages get ready to remember our fallen heroes from the First World War, this year’s Poppy Appeal is already in full swing.

The red flower is an iconic symbol throughout the country and serves as a reminder to those soldiers who gave their lives so valiantly that will will never forget their actions.

Chris Smithson is leading this year’s appeal in Banbury and it was officially launched on Saturday. The good people of Banbury helped raise more than £43,000 for the Royal British Region las year and Mr Smithson is also on the lookout for more volunteers to help reach the target.

He said: “The appeal has gone well so far but we could always do with more volunteers. My staunt collectors are getting frail so we are struggling to get more people to do collections in town.

“There are lots of families now that are looking at their family trees and seeing that their great-grandfathers and grandfathers died in the war or that they remember doing collections with their parents. At all military personell events in the town, Banbury comes together.”

The Royal British Legion is hoping to raise £41 million in 2016 what would be a record-breaking year.

As a result of the public’s support in the last year The Royal British Legion answered more than 450,000 calls for help from the Armed Forces community and more than 45 million poppies will be distributed by 350,000 dedicated collectors.

The money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to the charity’s work providing through life support to anyone who is currently serving in the British Armed Forces, who has previously served, and their families.

To be part of this year’s Poppy Appeal email c.smithson265@btinternet.com