An ex-soldier from Leeds was among a small group of military serving personnel and veterans chosen to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in London today.
A procession made up of those who have benefited from the work of the Royal British Legion made their way across London - accompanied by military vehicles through the years - to Downing Street to present the first official poppy to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Among the group was Lyndon Chatting-Walters, 25, from Leeds, who served as a combat engineer in the 23 Engineer Regiment but was medically discharged after suffering severe spinal injuries in Afghanistan in 2008.
In early 2012, he completed a rehabilitation course at the Legion-funded Battle Back Centre, in Shropshire, which provides adaptive sport and adventurous training for wounded, injured and sick Armed Forces men and women.
He went on to secure a job as an outdoor instructor and is now a coach at the centre, providing help and support to other casualties of war.
Lyndon was also joined in the parade by Cpl Linda Noble, of Catterick, north Yorkshire, whose husband Andrew, a veteran, has also received support from the Legion since he was medically discharged after a parachute accident.
National president of The Royal British Legion, vice admiral Peter Wilkinson, said: “The poppy is a powerful symbol worn to commemorate the sacrifices of our Armed Forces, but also to show support to those still serving, veterans and their loved ones. The generous donations of the British public enable the Legion to help today’s Armed Forces community to live on after troubled times in happy and positive lives.”
A ceremony will be held at the Light Shopping Centre in Leeds at 3pm tomorrow (Friday), where veterans, supporters and councillors will gather to mark the launch of the Poppy Appeal in the city.