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Hundreds show their respects with Banbury’s poppy soldier.

The focal point for Banbury’s Remembrance Day commemorations has raised more than a thousand pounds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Two weeks ago, Cherwell District Council positioned the wire figure of a soldier in the LinkPoint at the Banbury Museum in Castle Quay, inviting members of the public to attach special ‘alter poppies’ as a sign of respect. By Sunday 10 November, the statue, adorned with almost a thousand poppies, took pride of place in the town’s Remembrance Day commemorations.

Chairman for Banbury’s Royal British Legion, Chris Smithson helped to launch the project in October. Mr Smithson said:

“It has been a delight watching the soldier become dressed in poppies as the days have past. It’s a wonderful visual display of how the community feels towards our fallen heroes and with each poppy representing a £1 donation, I am pleased to say this project alone has raised over £1,000 for the Royal British Legion.”

Members of the public were able to buy the alter poppies at leading supermarkets within Banbury, as well as Bodicote House, Banbury Museum and Banbury Town Hall.

They were also invited to write a message in a book of remembrance, now being housed at Banbury Town Hall.

One hundred pounds was donated by Cherwell District Council, alongside a further one hundred pounds from Banbury Town Council.

The poppy soldier has now been repositioned to his last post at The Cross, where he will stand for an appropriate length of time. The display will eventually be carefully removed, with the poppies separated into their component parts to be fully recycled.

The final amount raised by Banbury’s Royal British Legion is still being totalled. Last year, the charity raised £78,500.

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