Ben Wallace on Downing Street 300920 CREDIT PA

Defence Secretary Urges Troops To Get Behind Poppy Appeal

Ben Wallace is encouraging personnel to support The Royal British Legion’s annual Remembrance appeal amid coronavirus restrictions.

Ben Wallace on Downing Street 300920 CREDIT PA

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has urged troops to support The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal despite restrictions on the National Service of Remembrance.

The public has been asked to stay away from the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday because of the coronavirus crisis.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urged people to mark this year's event on Sunday 8 November at home.

The service in central London will be closed to the public for the first time and the Royal British Legion veteran march-past will not take place.

The Remembrance service is expected to go ahead with representatives of the Royal Family, the Government and the Armed Forces laying wreaths at the Cenotaph.

Despite large public gatherings and fundraising events not taking place this time around, support can still be shown by displaying a poppy and joining a two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday.

Mr Wallace signed an open letter to the Armed Forces, which recognises the huge role they play in selling poppies and collecting donations for the appeal each year.

In the letter he said: "This year we face unique challenges, but ones that we can work together to overcome and demonstrate our Remembrance with pride.

"It is the same can-do spirit that you, alongside our NHS workers, carers and countless volunteers, showed time and again this year as you took part in the nation’s fight back against the virus. Overcoming huge logistical challenges, setting up Nightingales and providing hands-on medical care to those in need."

The letter to personnel continued: "We faced the same challenge as we marked the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day, but found poignant ways to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for this country. This year’s commemorations for Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day will indeed feel different.

"However, Remembrance will take place in communities large and small across the country and we have now published advice for Local Authorities so that communities can find appropriate ways to pay their respects."

Mr Wallace visited The Poppy Factory in Richmond to meet the team producing millions of poppies for the appeal.

The organisation also supports former service personnel with employability and makes wreaths to be laid at the Cenotaph by members of the Royal Family.

Cover image: The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (Picture: PA).