Dedicated poppy-appeal organisers honoured after record collection

PUBLISHED: 11:28 29 December 2009 | UPDATED: 22:06 31 May 2010

Arthur Boreham and Regimental Sergeant Major Justin Spreadborough with the soldiers from Carver Barracks

Arthur Boreham and Regimental Sergeant Major Justin Spreadborough with the soldiers from Carver Barracks

SOLDIERS young and old were on hand to present certificates to dedicated poppy appeal collectors who this year managed to smash all cash total records. Over £22,000 has been collected and more money is still pouring in for the Saffron Walden branch of the

SOLDIERS young and old were on hand to present certificates to dedicated poppy appeal collectors who this year managed to smash all cash total records.

Over £22,000 has been collected and more money is still pouring in for the Saffron Walden branch of the Royal British Legion following months of street, shop and door collections.

Branch spokesman Mick Birnie said: "This has been a fantastic year for the British Legion Poppy Appeal and I am sure all records will be broken.

"But we need that money more than ever now, not only to carry on the sterling work with our older soldiers but also to be able to offer support and assistance to those men and women in our armed forces who are being injured every day - and the families of those who all too often make the greatest sacrifice of all."

The awards ceremony, held on Tuesday December 15 at the branch headquarters on Abbey Lane, was a chance for the branch to invite members along for an evening of food and drink and thank them for all their hard work during the year.

It also provided an opportunity to welcome half a dozen soldiers from the nearby Carver Barracks in Wimbish who were more than happy to mix with the veterans and share stories.

Mr Birnie said: "Possibly one of the most endearing images of the evening was Arthur Boreham, a Second World War veteran of the D Day Landings, sitting with a group of today's soldiers deep in conversation.

"I asked Arthur what he was doing, he replied 'Oh just chatting to the lads'. He is in his eighties and they are just boys. But they are bound together by that certain something which comes from mutual respect and military camaraderie."

During the evening, certificates were presented by Regimental Sergeant Major Justin Spreadborough to members who had been collecting cash for the appeal from five years through to 10 years. Any longer and they then receive a badge for each five years after that

One long-time member, Marion Baker, stole the show as she was rewarded with a special badge honouring no less than 45 YEARS of collecting.

All the money raised by the poppy appeal goes directly to help current soldiers and veterans and their families who are dealing with problems such as life-changing injuries or getting vital care.

Mr Birnie thanked the public for their help and added: "To all the people of Saffron Walden who donated to this great cause we all wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year."

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