Help now more vital than ever

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CALDERDALE will pay homage to the Armed Forces on Sunday at services across the district. During recent weeks an army of volunteers has been preparing wreaths and selling poppies and have had good support from the public.

Mark Warne, secretary of Halifax Central branch of the Royal British Legion, said around 500 locations in his branch area were selling poppies.

“We have collected more than £3,000 so far, which is better than last year, and we would hope to reach last year’s figure of £35,000, which is a massive amount for a branch,” he said.

The branch covers the town centre, Pellon Lane, King Cross, Copley, Siddal and Southowram.

Volunteers have been working at the branch headquarters in Hopwood Lane for seven days a week.

Mr Warne said with no military presence in Halifax any more and no British Legion social clubs, the branch played a vital role in supporting servicemen and women.

The branch chairwoman is 91-year-old Betsy Burton-Chambers, who has held the job since the 1980s.

She said: “It’s a very worthwhile charity and the public are responding magnificently.”

She added: “I have had sons in the forces and I served with the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) for four and half years.”

Halifax Minster and cenotaph will be the heart of services and Major Bob Heron, of the Yorkshire Regiment said he hoped the “Armed Forces Community” would turn out in numbers and attend the parade and ceremony.

“In these challenging times for our Armed Forces it is important we do all we can to sustain our ties with our home communities, where our servicemen and women are drawn from and who we will be remembering,” he said.

The Boys’ Brigade Band will lead the parade from Halifax Town Hall to the cenotaph and Halifax Concert Band will provide the music for the cenotaph and minster services.