Transport for London (TfL) has partnered with the Royal British Legion (RBL) and celebrities including Jools Holland, Britain’s Got Talent winner Lance Corporal of Horse Richard Jones and Ross Kemp to pay tribute to servicemen and women ahead of the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday 12 November, and to raise donations for the annual Poppy Appeal.
London’s transport network will be marking Armistice Day from the start of November with musician and broadcaster Jools Holland OBE making special station announcements, encouraging people to donate to the Poppy Appeal. TfL has also created special poppy themed roundels, which will be displayed at ten Underground stations and five Overground stations and some bus stations across the network.
Five London buses have also been wrapped with poppies, while trams, an engineering train, and Underground, DLR, Elizabeth line and Overground trains will display poppy imagery. TfL-owned piers across the Thames will be flying poppy flags and TfL has also created special commemorative transport inspired poppy pins, that can be purchased through the British Legion Poppy shop.
People travelling on the Circle line on the 2 November will also see a special guest appearance from Britain’s Got Talent winner and serving officer Lance Corporal of Horse Richard Jones, who will be performing a magic show as part of the fundraising efforts.
On Remembrance Sunday (12 November), actor Ross Kemp will travel on a Royal Marines landing craft to meet London’s Transport Commissioner Andy Lord and members of the London Transport Old Comrades Association at Westminster Pier before joining them on a Remembrance Day Parade to the Cenotaph.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the London Transport Old Comrade Association. The group was first given the right to march by King George V in honour of the men of the London General Omnibus Company who drove buses to the front line in France from 1914 to 1918. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, Essex. The ship is symbolic of the generation who travelled from the Caribbean to settle in, and help rebuild, Britain in the decades after the Second World War, including many people who went on to work at London Transport.
More than 2,000 volunteers come together each November to collect donations across London’s transport network for the London Poppy Appeal. Each year the Royal British Legion aims to raise £1 million during the London Poppy Appeal, with around £400,000 raised across London’s transport network alone.
The donations which can be made via Contactless payment help the Royal British Legion to provide critical support to its members and veterans of the armed services. The fund helps to ensure serving and ex-serving personnel get the support they need to recover, physically, and mentally following service, as well as offering financial advice and support to help veterans adjust to civilian life.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am proud that this year, for London Poppy Day, our transport network features poppy themed roundels and customers travelling around the capital will hear announcements from well-known voices paying tribute to servicemen and women and supporting important fundraising efforts.
“TfL has a longstanding relationship with the Royal British Legion and I want to thank the thousands of volunteers who collect donations on TfL’s network each year for the London Poppy Appeal supporting veterans, serving personnel and their families.”
Andy Lord, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Every year we are proud to support the Royal British Legion and their fundraising efforts for veterans, serving personnel and their families. This is a particularly special year as it marks the 100th anniversary of the London Transport Old Comrade Association, and we’re delighted that Jools Holland, Ross Kemp and Lance Corporal of Horse Richard Jones are all supporting our ambitious fundraising efforts.
“We hope that all our activity for London Poppy Day and ahead of the National Service of Remembrance on the 12 November will encourage customers to donate to this special cause.”
Director of the Poppy Appeal at Royal British Legion, Andy Taylor-Whyte, said: “We’re excited that the Royal British Legion London Poppy Day is fast approaching, and we invite people across the city to come and say hello to the many members of the military community who will be collecting for the Poppy Appeal in major transport hubs through the day. With military bands also playing in many stations, we encourage people to stop for a moment of reflection and support the appeal this year, which has launched a new plastic-free poppy to wear.
‘’Your poppy shows you care and that the service and sacrifice of serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families will never be forgotten. Please give whatever you can to this year’s Poppy Appeal and help us raise £1 million in London in a day.”
London’s transport network* will join the rest of the UK and fall silent at 11am on Armistice Day on Saturday 11 November and on Remembrance Sunday 12 November to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Parts of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Jubilee lines will be closed until 15.00 on Saturday 11 November**. The closure will facilitate testing of a transformative new signalling system that will improve reliability and journey times on these lines. Rail replacement bus services will be in place, but customers are advised to check before they travel and seek alternative routes on this day.
Image credit: TfL