The poppy seller is part of our heritage and seen on the streets, particularly around Remembrance Day. We actually featured a poppy seller on our Good News Story back in November.
The Royal British Legion started selling poppies in 1921 and it was in that first year that six year old Rosemary Powell started selling poppies with her mother. Mrs Powell grew up in London close to where the poppies were made. The poppy had a particularly poignant significance for her as she lost her fiancé, her younger brother and three uncles to the horrors of war. Her father was also injured during the Battle of the Somme.
Mrs Powell is reported as saying “We did it in memory of those men who were killed, for their sacrifice.”
Mrs Powell has sold poppies every year since that day, even when living abroad for some of that time. Since 2015 Mrs Powell has been in a Chiswick nursing home but she still continued with her inspirational story by selling poppies to residents, staff and their families.
After 97 years selling and at the grand old age of 103, she has been reported as saying that she is “too old” to sell any more and that it is time to hand the reigns over to younger sellers. The Royal British Legion celebrated her achievement with a presentation made by a previously injured service man who had benefited from the fundraising.
A truly remarkable story and one that has certainly captured the imagination of us here.