VETERANS, soldiers, young cadets and councillors met in Leeds for a special ceremony to mark the launch of the city’s Poppy Appeal.
Hundreds of supporters, volunteers and servicemen and women took part in the moving ceremony at The Light today (October 23).
Veteran Joseph Morton, who will soon be celebrating his 102nd birthday, was one of the VIPs and was presented with the first poppy by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, councillor Judith Chapman.
Mr Morton served in the Royal Army Service Corps during the Second World War, delivering vital supplies to troops in the days immediately after the historic D-Day landings.
Speaking to the YEP, he said: “It is a privilege to be invited here to be the first to receive a poppy.”
Mr Morton, from Tingley, has been volunteering for the Royal British Legion for three years, selling poppies to raise money for the charity.
Mr Morton added: “I enjoy doing it because it is for a very good cause and it means a lot to me.”
Mr Morton will be selling poppies at Asda in Morley from 1pm to 5pm on Monday, 26.
The ceremony included performances by singer Nigel Rae and Leeds Festival Chorus, with songs such as Land of Hope and Glory and God Save the Queen.
Cadets from the David Young Academy in Seacroft also attended.
Last year, more than £381,512 was raised in Leeds for the Poppy Appeal, and it is hoped that this year’s fundraising efforts will help raise even more.
Sheila Scott, Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Leeds, said: “Our soldiers need support.
“We are looking for local people to sell poppies.
“Anyone that can spare a bit of time between now and November 13, please get in touch.”
To volunteer for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, call Sheila Scott on 07746 097 735.