The county’s annual Poppy Appeal officially began yesterday (Sunday) with a special ceremony under the gaze of the Lancaster bomber ‘Just Jane’ at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.
The launch of this year’s Lincolnshire Poppy Appeal was officially opened at the East Kirkby site by Captain Nick Barron of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment (The Poachers), who have just embarked on a tour of Afghanistan.
The regiment has recently moved to their new home, the Kendrew Barracks, in 2012 on the site of the former RAF Cottesmore.
The regiment has strong links with Lincolnshire. It recruits heavily from the county, along with other counties such as Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The packed aircraft hangar was entertained initially by the Mareham Le Fen Victory Silver Band and during the service by the Coningsby Military Wives Choir, which was formed in September 2012 and is made up of wives, fiancés, and girlfriends from RAF Coningsby.
The Standard Bearers and Cadet Units assembled and were marched in as the trumpeter sounded Advance at 11.41am precisely.
This year the Spilsby Royal British Legion standard bearer was local author and ex-paratrooper Ed Lane, and at 11.45am the county poppy appeal was under way, introduced by the county chairman Tony Goodwin.
The county president of the Royal British Legion Brigadier Barry Reeves announced that last year Lincolnshire raised £722,000, £351,000 of which was spent locally, and his target this year is £800,000.
Each year, in early November some 30,000 volunteers take to the streets with poppies and collecting boxes, raising millions of pounds for the poppy appeal.
The money collected goes to providing help and support to serving and ex-serviceman and women and their dependents.
This year’s remembrance service will be held on Sunday, November 10.