Our members Ann Johnson and Bill Palethorpe organised and attended the service reported below – we thank them for an extremely successful event:
A group of Eastbourne residents took part in their town’s Remembrance day parade and service on 14 November and laid a wreath of purple poppies, supplied by Animal Aid, in memory of all animals who have died in wars and continue to suffer as a result of war. Despite the rain, around 30 groups, military and non-military, were represented in the parade, with several hundred onlookers attending. It was therefore a terrific opportunity to raise awareness of this important issue. The single wreath of purple poppies, which was announced over the audio system, stood out beautifully from all the red ones and many people in the crowd, as well as from the other organisations laying wreaths, wanted to know more about animals in war.
We have had warm and generous support from Eastbourne Council and the Combined Ex-Services Association for this, our second year in the parade, and it is very encouraging to know that animals now have their regular place in this ‘official’ event.
In the weeks leading up to the parade, we were indebted to the staff of the Kit Wilson Trust for Animal Welfare shop who sold purple poppies and displayed Animal Aid leaflets about animals in war, as well as collecting signatures for their petition against the testing of weapons on animals.
In addition, Sainsburys could not have been more supportive, allowing us to sell purple poppies from inside their store. Their manageress, who was very enthusiastic about the whole campaign, has promised us the same pitch for next year.
In all we sold 1140 purple poppies to Eastbourne residents and visitors (running out of stock by 2pm on the Saturday afternoon) and made a total of £1190 which goes to Animal Aid. All our leaflets were taken by the public.
For the second year running, the Eastbourne Wildlife Ambulance and Rescue Service gave us greatly valued support in a number of ways.
The purple poppies and wreaths are a terrific way to let people know how animals suffer through war. It is clear that people know very little about this subject and we were very touched by the care and compassion shown by so many. As we understand it, anyone can lay a wreath at town Remembrance services after the official parade, although this may vary from place to place.
~ Ann Johnson, QCA committee and QCA Sussex East Area Representative.
At the Animals in War Memorial in London, where Pastor James Thompson – the Animal Padre – officiated, our committee member Viktoria Nealis laid our wreath of poppies:
Hastings – We thank our member Barbara Warburton, who, with her friend Dean Robinson, laid a purple poppy wreath at her local Remembrance service.
Editor’s note: If any reader would like to organise their own poppy-laying next time, Ann points out that it is worth checking with councils first. Please also think ahead, as they are not always prompt in their replies.
Wirral Council did not give us permission to be official participants, though we had the support of the Wirral & Chester branch of the RSPCA and of two veterinary practices, as well as a good number of Wirral residents. We did however attend and lay our wreath and a local pet shop helped us by selling purple poppies.
Photo by kind permission of Ron James, of the RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch.
The inscription reads:
Remembering all the animal friends who served with such loyalty and bravery.