Remembrance Sunday Harrogate

Remembrance in Knaresborough and the Branch of the Royal British Legion

18 October 2021

Following last year’s low-key Remembrance commemorations, as a result of the Covid-19 measures, the Knaresborough Branch of the Royal British Legion has big plans to mark this year.

The Remembrance commemoration that comes in the year the RBL marks its centenary. That’s 100 years of supporting those that serve in the armed forces and their families.

The iconic Knaresborough Castle like you’ve never seen it before

The Branch launched it’s Knit 4 Knaresborough project in February 2019 with the aim of building each year to the RBL centenary in 2021, a unique art installation at an on the famous landmark.

Since then between, 28,000 and 30,000 knitted/crocheted poppies have been made and received by the Branch from local Women’s Institutes, local craft groups and individuals who have spent hundreds of hours sewing the donated poppies onto preplanned designs which, all being well, will be installed at the historic 12th century Knaresborough castle from Tuesday 2 November (with Harrogate Borough Council help).

Large scale silhouette figures of the classic British ‘Tommy’ and modern service personnel will also be displayed along with that of a dog, to commemorate the sacrifice animals have played in the service of their country.

Field of Poppies

Five Knaresborough primary schools are working on creating 1500 field poppies made from recycling petals from last year’s memorial wreaths. The children will be creating their Field of Poppies at the castle grounds on Wednesday 10 November 2021.

The Poppy Display and Field of Poppies will be removed on 15 November 2021.

Lamp-post poppies, flags, and window decals around the town

The Branch is also aiming to once more install the lamppost poppies and flags around the famous market town and window decals, available form ‘HA Garments printing and vinyl’, which raising money for this year’s Poppy appeal.

The 2021 Poppy Appeal

Key messaging to Knaresborough townsfolk will focus around three main messages:

Poppy Appeal collectors are back in the community

As Covid-19 restrictions ease, our collectors are back out in their communities to raise vital funds for the RBL’s Poppy Appeal. Our collectors have been at the heart of the Poppy Appeal in local communities for over 100 years and as we mark the RBL centenary we are celebrating their contribution. The Knaresborough Branch is seeking volunteers to help sell poppies at Lidl and Marks & Spencers in Knaresborough. If anyone can spare some time, even if it is for just an hour, then please ring Branch Chair, Alan Pitchfork on 07984700429 . Every poppy counts, and any contribution will make a real difference to the lives of the Armed Forces community, who have given so much for their country.

100 years of the Poppy and Remembrance

Since it was first worn as an act of Remembrance just over 100 years ago, the poppy has become an enduring symbol of support for our Armed Forces, past and present, and every poppy counts. For 100 years Remembrance has been part of the fabric of society, reminding us of our shared history and today it continues to unite people across all backgrounds, communities, and generations. Throughout history the British Armed Forces have defended freedom and democracy so we are asking people to join us in our 100th year to remember their service and sacrifice.

Every Poppy Counts

Every poppy counts, which is why getting our Poppy Appeal collectors back out in local communities is so important. Local community support is as vital as ever as the impact of Covid-19 continues to leave some members of the Armed Forces community in urgent need of our help.

Key dates

Thursday 28 October 2021 – National Launch

Thursday 28 October to Saturday 13 November – House to House/Static Collections and Street Collections

Thursday 11 November – Armistice Day

Sunday 14 November – Remembrance Sunday.

Future of the Knaresborough Branch

As  do all this though, there is a real danger that the Branch in Knaresborough may not see out another 5 years, let alone another 100. The Branch is now down to just a handful of active members and needs more to sustain itself and the concern is that the Knaresborough ‘standard’ that is strikingly visible at Remembrance events and the annual Remembrance parade through the town, will have to be laid up if new members cannot be found.

Anyone can join the RBL, they don’t have to have served in the military. Membership is £18 per year – that’s less than 35 pence per week.

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