A meadow of ceramic red poppies served as the backdrop for the launch of the 2018 Poppy Appeal for Devon this morning (Friday).
The annual remembrance appeal, which will also mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, was launched by the Royal British Legion at RHS Rosemoor’s in Torrington.
Rosemoor is commemorating the Centenary of the end of the Great War with its Unknown Soldier display, where standing tall amongst 100 red, ceramic poppies is a life-size sculpture of a World War I soldier.
Fund raisers hope to collect at least £1.2million across the county in the run up to Remembrance Day on Sunday, November 11.
The poignant ceremony paid tribute to Devon’s role in the Great War, with the Devon Yeomanry, a horse and soldier from the War Horse Farm in attendance.
A rendition of You Raise Me Up by 29 Commando Regiment Padre Darren Middleton, interspersed with a reading by author Anne Middleton preceded the service of remembrance.
Deputy Lieutenant Jake Moores OBE then launched the appeal with a posy presented by four-year-old Graicie Bonfield.
Mr Moores said: “It gives me great pleasure and privilege to be able to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in Devon.
“Everyone in Britain today has a reason to say thank you to that special generation. 100 years on, let us remember those who gave their lives.”
Carole Arnold, county fund raiser for RBL Devon, said: “Everyone has a connection to the First World War, and we all have a reason to say ‘thank you’ for the legacy that extraordinary generation left for us.
“The First World War left countless legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground-breaking social change and timeless works of art to pioneering innovations.
“As we come to the end of the First World War Centenary now is the time to come together in our communities and say ‘thank you.’
“This Poppy Appeal, wear your poppy with pride to support the Armed Forces community past and present.
“Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”