Sponsored hot air balloon flight to raise funds for Poppy Appeal

Old soldier Bill Warwick is hoping to raise a substantial sum of money for the Royal British Legion with a sponsored hot air balloon flight over Derbyshire.

Bill won a hot air balloon flight in a raffle at an ex-servicemen’s event last year and decided to use his prize to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

The Poppy Appeal was founded in 1922 by Major George Howson, who set up the Disabled Society to provide work for disable ex-servicemen, assembling the poppies which are sold in commemoration of Remembrance Sunday each November.

The Poppy Factory works throughout the year, making over 40 million Remembrance poppies and thousands of Remembrance crosses, wreaths, sprays and other commemorative items. The Poppy Appeal is now the largest fundraising event for the British Legion, raising £36 million in 2011.

Now 77, Bill served in the Royal Engineers during the Suez crisis in the 1950s and is still a member of the Royal Engineers Association, as well as the Royal Observer Corps Association and the Suez Veterans Association.

Bill, who lives in Laughton Wood Corner, Gainsborough in the picturesque Peak District, is now expecting to hear that the hot air balloon flight will take place very soon. The flight is scheduled to take off from Ambergate, approximately 50 miles away. Bill, who is himself a first-time balloonist, will be taking his wife and sister-in-law as passengers, as well as a soldier from the Mercian Regiment, who will be representing the Royal British Legion.

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