Winnie’s back on duty at age of 97 for launch of Leeds Poppy Appeal

She served as a radio operator in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War.

And today 97-year-old Winnie Beane was on duty once again as she helped launch this year’s Leeds Poppy Appeal.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty, presents Winnie with her poppy at the appeal launch.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty, presents Winnie with her poppy at the appeal launch.

She was presented with the city’s first poppy of the year by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty, during a launch ceremony held at The Light.

Winnie, from Oulton, said: “I think the Poppy Appeal is very important, in as much as we must not let [events like the First World War and Second World War] happen again.

“It’s also important that we still remember and always remember the people who gave their lives.”

Today’s launch included an act of remembrance as well as music from acoustic duo Keystone and the Athill Trefoil Guild Ukulele Band.

Guests were addressed by Jeff Gantschuk, chairman of the Leeds branch of the Royal British Legion, with hosting duties being handled by Liz Green, from BBC Radio Leeds.

The Legion had a number of standard bearers on parade, including Martyn Simpson, a 56-year-old RAF veteran from its Barwick and Scholes branch.