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STEVENAGE FC TO MARK REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

7 November 2014

Sunday's FA Cup first round game with Maidstone coincides with Remembrance Sunday and Stevenage Football Club will be marking the occasion accordingly.

The Club will use Sunday's fixture to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifices of Britain’s Armed Forces over the last 100 years. 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and 100 years since the birth of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance and hope. 

As in previous years members of the Royal British Legion will be present around The Lamex Stadium before the match selling poppies and collecting money as part of the annual Poppy Appeal. Fundraisers in Stevenage are are hoping to improve on the £93,000 they raised last year by reaching the £100,000 mark this year and they need your help. This year the Royal British Legion aims to raise £40 million across the country.

During the warm-ups both squads will be wearing special poppy-embroidered white t-shirts marking their respect. As the teams come out for kick-off a wreath will be laid in the centre-circle by a Royal British Legion member, prior to the reading of the famous fourth verse from the Ode of Remembrance and a one minute silence.

The Ode of Remembrane (fourth stanza)
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

Next week two home shirts embroidered with the poppy emblem and signed by the entire Stevenage squad will be put up for auction online with all funds raised going to the Poppy Appeal.

If you'd like to know more about the Poppy Appeal and the work of the Royal British Legion, please continue reading a piece written for us by Stevenage FC season ticket holder and RBL information volunteer Mary Inskip: 

At this time of year we are all aware of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal & Remembrance Day.  However, how many of us don’t know the significance of these events & the work of the Royal British Legion today.

The 1st World War ended on November 11th 1918 at 11am.  On the 1st anniversary of the end of the War in 1919, an informal ceremony of Remembrance was held.  The Cenotaph was unveiled in 1920 & since that time a ceremony has been held both on November 11th & the nearest Sunday.  The national ceremony is replicated all over the country & elsewhere.

The British Legion was formed in 1921 to care for those who had suffered as a result of service in the War.  It was formed from the amalgamation of 3 organisations set up during the War to care for discharged soldiers - there was no Welfare State at this time.

The poppy was chosen as the symbol of fundraising from a poem written by a Canadian Medical Officer, which you can read below. The poem was published in a magazine & it inspired an American to use it for fund raising.  Her idea was followed by the British Charity.  The poppies were made by disabled servicemen who were paid a fair wage for their work.

The Legion was given the Royal prefix on its 50th Anniversary in 1971.

Today, The Royal British Legion still helps both current & ex-servicemen & their dependents.  The funds raised by the Poppy appeal are used by the Welfare section of the RBL to provide help in many ways.  These include benefits & money advice, immediate needs grants, help with employment & training & supply of mobility aids.  The Legion also provides breaks for families and older people.  Further details can be found on the website – www.britishlegion.org.uk  or by contacting the national helpline - 0808 802 8080.

In Flanders Fields (by John McCrae)
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
between the crosses row on row
that mark our place; and in the sky
the larks still singing, bravely fly
scarce heard amid the guns below."

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