Poppy crosses at the Inverness Garden of Remembrance, Scotland (Picture: Legion Scotland).

Inverness Garden of Remembrance opening marks start of centenary poppy appeal

The Garden of Remembrance is situated in the city’s Cavell Gardens and is open until Remembrance Sunday. 

Poppy crosses at the Inverness Garden of Remembrance, Scotland (Picture: Legion Scotland).

A service and wreath laying has marked the opening of the Inverness Garden of Remembrance in Scotland.

The garden features hundreds of poppy crosses and other remembrance symbols returned to Poppyscotland, the charity behind the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal, by supporters.

And the service, organised by the Inverness branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland), featured the reading of iconic lines from Lawrence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" and the Kohima epitaph.

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: "After more than a year of virtual events it means a huge amount to our veterans to come together for the opening of the Inverness Garden of Remembrance."

This year's Poppy Appeal has even greater significance as it marks 100 years of the Royal British Legion and Legion Scotland.

Watch: Queen attends Royal British Legion centenary service.

And Dr Armstrong added the charity's centenary year "is both a time to celebrate our rich history and heritage, and look positively towards the future with renewed vigour."

The Poppy Appeal was established in 1921 in the aftermath of the First World War by Scotsman and former commander of British Forces on the Western front, Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising and Learning at Poppyscotland, said last year's "cash donations to the Scottish Poppy Appeal fell by 28% due to the pandemic".

"Despite this, Poppyscotland's life-changing support for our Armed Forces community continued uninterrupted," he said.

"Vulnerable veterans have been hit especially hard over the past 18 months and we anticipate demand on our services continuing to rise in the year ahead. 

"That's why we hope the public will go the extra mile in their support for the Scottish Poppy Appeal in its 100th year.”