The Stoke Gifford branch of The Royal British Legion (RBL) launched its 2019/20 Poppy Appeal with a ceremony in the foyer of Bristol Parkway Station on Friday 25th October.
The branch was pleased to welcome a special guest, Chelsea Pensioner John Honey, who cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the start of the local appeal. Mr Honey retired from the army in 1960, having served overseas in Aden and Kenya with the Royal Army Service Corps. He became a resident at the Royal Chelsea Hospital in 2012, at the age of 72.
The ceremony was also attended by D-Day veteran Ron Stevens, 95, a resident of Filton. Mr Stevens joined the army at the age of 14 and served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Based on Jersey in the early part of World War 2, he was evacuated on the last boat to leave the island before the Germans invaded. On D-Day, he landed at Juno Beach and went on to serve at vehicle workshops in France, Holland and Belgium. His military career spanned more than 30 years.
Also present at the event were West of England mayor Tim Bowles, Jack Lopresti MP and representatives of several local groups including ATC North Bristol Squadron, Stoke Gifford Scouts and RBL Riders (motorcyclists).
Parkway Station is one of the main sites for the branch’s fundraising efforts, along with the Asda store in Filton, Sainsbury’s in Stoke Gifford and the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke.
Money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes to the RBL’s Welfare Fund, which is used to give help and support to serving and ex-service personnel and their families.
The RBL has a drop-in centre at 60 Union Street, Bristol, where people can call in for advice and information on the charity’s support and community services.
Local Remembrance parades and ceremonies
- Bradley Stoke: Sunday 10th November – Parade from the Jubilee Centre at 10.30am. Ceremony in the town square from 10.45am.
- Stoke Gifford: Sunday 10th November – Ceremony at the cenotaph, North Road at 10.15am followed by church services at the St Michael’s Centre and Rock Lane Baptist Church.
- Patchway: Sunday 17th November – Parade from the car park near Coniston Medical Practice at 10.30am sharp followed by Remembrance service at the war memorial in Scott Park.
Related link: Stoke Gifford RBL on Facebook
Photo (l-r): Ron Stevens (D-Day veteran), John Honey (Chelsea Pensioner), Jack Lopresti MP, David Bell (RBL) and Tim Bowles (West of England mayor).
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 10). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.