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Stagecoach Group's rail and bus companies are helping to support the RoyalBritish Legion's 2014 Poppy Appeal.
This week, the company will help staff and passengers honour and rememberservice personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In conjunction with the Royal British Legion’s London and City Poppy Days,members of the Armed Forces and veterans have been offered complimentary train travel on East Midlands Train and South West Trains services on anumber of dates in October and November.
Military personnel and veterans will also be carrying out collections atselected stations served by East Midlands Trains and the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance.
London and Plymouth Poppy Days are being held on Thursday 30 October with Bristol and Manchester following on Thursday 6 October.
Rail employees who have previously served in the Armed Forces are beinginvited to wear their own military decorations while at work on the same days.
East Midlands Trains is also supporting the appeal by giving out free 'trench cake' inspired by a war-time recipe based on rationing to customers in First Class on weekdays between 3 – 11 November and at selected stations on 11 November.
On Thursday 6 November 300 volunteers from three community choirs across Cheshire will be travelling to St Pancras station to bring a production of‘Over By Christmas’ a free 20 minute WW1 commemoration to the station.
East Midlands Trains Travel Advisor Ron Wiltshire has so far raised £27,000 for the British Legion Poppy Appeal by selling commemorative badges to mark the centenary fo World War One on stations and trains. Any passenger wishing ot buy a commemorative badge to help Ron reach his £100,000 target can buy them from selected East Midlands Trains stations, visit eastmidlandstrains.co.uk for further information.
The South West Trains- Network Rail Alliance will once again be opening it's doors at Waterloo Station to veterans and service personnel collectingfor London Poppy Day on 30 October. Military bands and dozens of uniformed collectors will be present, selling poppies from 0700hrs until 1900hrs.
A remembrance service will also be held on 11th November and a wreath willbe laid by South West Trains, Network Rail and British Transport Police. Staff and passengers will be invited to observe a two minutes silence at1100hrs at Waterloo and at other stations across the network.In Sheffield, Stagecoach Supertram will also be placing large-sized poppies on 12 trams in memory of the lives lost during war. The company is also providing free travel to past and present Armed Forces personnel travelling across Sheffield on Remembrance Sunday and are providing poppies to all tram drivers and conductors who choose to wear one.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “Every year we doall we can to support this important cause. By offering free transport tothose collecting at cities across the country we are helping to ensure thatfunds go straight to the good causes they support.
“Some of our staff have served in the Armed Forces and many have servicepersonnel among their family and friends so we’re proud to be-able tosupport them in his way.
“Arranging these events at our companies helps us to play a part inremembering those who have been lost in action and allows us to pay tributefor the sacrifices made by servicemen and women around the world.”
Notes to the Editor
London and City Poppy Day collectors will qualify for free travel if theyare either wearing a military uniform, are not in uniform but carryingmilitary identification or are not in uniform but carrying City Poppy Day /Royal British Legion identification.
City Poppy Day Events
Travel is permitted on the below dates. The date in bold is the date of theCity Poppy Day, travel is also permitted on the day either side.
Location Dates of travelLondon 29,30,31 OctoberPlymouth 29,30,31 OctoberBristol 5,6,7 NovemberManchester 5,6,7 November