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Legion member selected to represent Suffolk at annual remembrance festival

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 October 2016

Former Bungay standard bearer Bruce Firth-Clark (front) representing the branch at a previous event.

Former Bungay standard bearer Bruce Firth-Clark (front) representing the branch at a previous event.

Archant

A Royal British Legion member from Bungay has been chosen as one of only two standard bearers from Suffolk to parade in the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Royal British Legion Bungay branch is preparing for its annual Poppy Appeal tableThe Royal British Legion Bungay branch is preparing for its annual Poppy Appeal table

Barry Williams will be representing his town at the London event on November 12, which commemorates all those who have lost their lives in conflicts.

Mr Williams said: “I’m looking forward to the whole experience - representing Bungay and having the honour of being there. It’s also going to be a big honour to be in front of the Royal Family, that will be the icing on the cake.”

The branch is holding its own Service of Remembrance on Sunday, November 13, along with Bungay Town Council. There will be a parade leading to St Mary’s Church, made up of representatives from the Legion, council and town organisations, led by branch standards and a military vehicle.

And to kick off the Legion’s Poppy Appeal, the branch will be running a stall at the Co-operative Food store in Bungay for 13 days, starting on October 31. At 11am on November 11, they will observe the national two-minute silence.

But despite the popularity and visibility of poppies in November, the UK charity works throughout the year to support those who have served, or are currently serving, and their families.

Club chairman Tony Dawes said: “We want people to know that the British Legion doesn’t just exist during the fortnight of ‘poppy time’ before Remembrance Sunday, we operate year round. We have the ability to talk to governments about things that involve the overall welfare of servicemen.”

Mr Williams has also represented Bungay at other services throughout the year, including the national commemoration of the Battle of the Somme in Manchester, and former Bungay standard bearer Bruce Firth-Clark travelled to the Thiepval Memorial in France to lay a wreath.

Membership for the group nationwide currently hovers around 300,000, but the organisation is hoping a wider audience will sign up to help the cause.

“There’s an unfortunate myth that you need to have served in the armed forces to be a member, but that’s totally untrue,” Mr Williams said.

The Bungay branch would like to thank the manager of the Co-op, Graeme Clegg, and all the members and friends who give their time to manning the Poppy Appeal table every year.

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