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Royal British Legion launches centenary poppy appeal

(left to right) Claire Rowcliffe, Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising, WWII veteran Barbara Weatherill, 93, Prime Minister Theresa May and fundraiser Poppy Railton, 9, outside 10 Downing Street, London as the Prime Minister makes a donation to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal and receives her poppy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story CHARITY Poppy. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

By Caitlin Doherty, Press Association

The annual Poppy Appeal has been launched with art installations revealed around the UK to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.

Sunday November 11 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, and thousands of volunteers will help sell and distribute paper poppies in the following days.

Founded in 1921, the Poppy Appeal raises funds for servicemen and women and their families.

A six-metre-high poppy installation was unveiled at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to mark the launch of the charity campaign and say thank you to the First World War generation.

Smaller artworks were revealed at a number of locations, including Downing Street, Brighton Pavilion, the Library of Birmingham, and Ballyclare Football Club in Co Antrim.

The installations will remain in place until Monday.

The Prime Minister gave her support to the appeal on Thursday morning, buying a poppy at 10 Downing Street.

She was greeted at the door by 93-year-old Barbara Weatherill, a Second World War veteran, and nine-year-old Poppy.

Ms Weatherill told the Press Association: "It means a very great deal because it is a continuation of the good work of remembrance.

"I think when the poppies first appeared in Flanders, nobody had any idea of the impact it would have 100 years later."

The former driver-mechanic with the Royal Artillery added: "It means a lot to me, it always has done, because my parents served in the First World War, both my mother and father."

The Prime Minister said: "I am proud to take part in the launch of the Poppy Appeal, which this year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, as we remember all of those who served.

"I hope the country will join me in wearing a poppy and giving thanks to the whole armed forces community for their dedication, sacrifice and bravery."

In 2015, more than 11 million poppies were made at the Royal British Legion's "Poppy Factory" in London.

A total of 1.1 million "remembrance symbols" and 135,000 wreaths were also made at the Richmond site.

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