Wiltshire Publications

“Magnificent” sum for Poppy Appeal despite restrictions

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DESPITE Covid-19 restrictions, Bratton residents found ways of marking November’s Remembrance and Armistice Days, and over  £2,660 was raised for the poppy appeal.

Acts of remembrance ranged from a giant poppy on Picquet Hill, generously provided by Peter Gale, the unobtrusive planting of crosses in St James’ and the Baptist churches, poppy- themed decorations in windows and gardens, to the marvellous garlands of knitted poppies placed around the war memorial by members of the Women’s Institute. 

Remembrance was commemorated in the way in which Bratton  has been accustomed, Mike O’ Donoghue, poppy appeal organiser for the Royal British Legion Bratton branch reported.

“The ceremonies at the war memorial with Royal British Legion legion standards present took place on both days although  few spectators were permitted,” Mike said. “However the two-minute silence by Ray Davies’ air raid siren meant everyone in hearing range could listen to the perfect sounding of the last post by Faye Coussens of the Bratton Silver Band.

“Wreaths were laid by Lieutenant General Louis  Lillywhite and Marie Nun on behalf of the Royal British Legion. Colonel Lindsay MacDuff (the Armed Forces), cllr Suzanne Wickham (Wiltshire Council), Jeff Ligo (Bratton Parish Council),  Ian Bolton (Bratton School) , Faye Coussens (Bratton Silver Band) and Revds Andrew Sinclair and Simon Gray on behalf of the churches. 

“Thanks to Colonel Peter Sharland who coordinated both events with characteristic precision. Beautiful photographs were taken by Colonel Ellie Williams, Lucy Scott and Keith Rayward, of the ceremonies and around the village.”

A viewing gallery is available  on the Bratton parish website via the Royal British Legion page.

Mike said, “Sadly our poppy appeal collectors were unable to do house -to-house collections. instead envelopes containing poppies and a wooden cross were kindly delivered to villagers by members of the wonderful Bratton Parish News delivery team – thank you all for taking on this task, in addition to the normal burden on their rounds.  As a result everyone in the village had a poppy and a means of donating to this year’s appeal, which raised the splendid sum of £2,406. 

“This sum was gathered in via envelope collection points kindly hosted by Central Stores, The Duke and Pickleberry Cafe who also had their own collection boxes. 

“Bratton School came up with a very original idea for raising awareness of remembrance by holding a ‘mufti’ day which gave pupils the option of coming to school in ‘civvies’ in return for a donation – and raising the magnificent sum of £173.89. 

“The grand total of this year’s poppy collection amounted to the magnificent sum of £2,661.47 which will be further increased by donations for wreaths and Gift Aid.”

Mike added, “Another measure of the success of this year’s appeal was the painting of 168 wooden crosses in the Garden of Remembrance at the war memorial. It’s a wonderful sight and I believe one of which the village can be rightly proud. 

“With many thanks to Jeff Ligo for his leadership and determination that remembrance services in Bratton would still go ahead while adhering to the government regulations, all the people that so readily provided practical help, and to everyone in the village who contributed so generously to this year’s appeal.”

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