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Seven-year-old Orpington poppy collector does granddad proud

Stanley Wright with his great-granddaughter Bethan Taylor, 7, who was collecting for the Royal British Legion

Stanley Wright with his great-granddaughter Bethan Taylor, 7, who was collecting for the Royal British Legion

Archant

One of Britain’s youngest poppy collectors raised more than £200 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Seven-year-old Bethan Taylor, from Orpington, came up with the idea of collecting of her own accord and set about it at The Walnuts shopping centre on Saturday.

Because she is so young, Bethan had to be signed onto the collection licence of her great-grandfather Stanley Wright, 78, who is president of Orpington branch of the legion.

The youngster collected £205.90 overall.

Mr Wright said: “Bethan was tired out but thoroughly enjoyed doing it. It was entirely her own idea and is a great example to us all. I am very proud of her.”

After some of the bloodiest fighting of World War One in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France, poppies grew in the fields.

John McCrae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed Forces, was moved by what he saw and wrote the poem In Flanders’ Fields in 1915.

Poppy selling was started by an American War Secretary, Moina Michael, inspired by John McCrae’s poem, who began selling poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-service community.

The British Legion has recently spent money raised by the Poppy Appeal to build four rehabilitation centres across the country for injured men and women. The Poppy Appeal also pays for bereavement counselling and other information services such as how to access benefits.

There will be dozens of services held this Sunday in churches across the borough in memory of servicemen and women and civilians who have lost their lives in war.

n To donate to the British Legion, visit www,britishlegion.org.uk

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