Saturday 11 November, sees the West Orchards Shopping Centre fall silent as 4000 poppy petals are dropped in memory of the country’s war heroes.
Armistice Day will be commemorated at the stroke of the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, with a traditional two minute silence.
The first official Legion Poppy day took place in Britain on 11 November 1921 and was inspired by John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”
Year upon year the nation expresses continued and unwavering support for The Royal British Legion’s charity work with the Poppy Appeal, highlighting the need for help for the current serving generations in the Armed Forces and their families, today and for the rest of their lives.
The commemorative service, supported by West Orchards, The Royal British Legion and Coventry City Council, is a moving, reflective and poignant reminder to city shoppers, workers and residents, of those who gave their lives in service to their country.
The event begins at 10.45am with an introductory speech from West Orchards’ Manager Andy Talbot in the yellow corner of level 3. This is followed by prayers led by the Right Reverend Graham Anderson from Holy Trinity Church and poems read by local children from St Mary’s and St Benedicts Primary School.
At 11am, a bugler from the Coventry Corps of Drums will sound the Last Post, which heralds the two minutes silence during which time thousands of poppy petals will be released to fall gracefully from the domed roof of the shopping centre.
The British Legion will then deliver the Exhortation and Kohima in remembrance of those who lost their lives in battle.
Andy Talbot, director of the West Orchards Shopping Centre said:
“The Poppy Appeal is vital in order to help pledge support for those who have fought for their country and served in the British Armed Forces. It remains a simple yet powerful service in which shoppers and visitors to the city centre, can pause for thought to remember anyone who fought and gave their lives in battle, whether the First and Second World Wars or indeed in recent and continuing conflicts.”
In attendance at the event will be representatives from local churches, community groups, Councillors and The Royal British Legion.
The West Orchards Poppy Appeal has now begun.