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Life-size soldier cuts a striking figure for poppy appeal

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 07 July 2010

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A life-sized model soldier covered with tiny scarlet symbols of remembrance has gone on parade at a Fakenham supermarket to launch the town's Poppy Appeal.

A life-sized model soldier covered with tiny scarlet symbols of remembrance has gone on parade at a Fakenham supermarket to launch the town's Poppy Appeal.

The model was created by members of the Fakenham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion as a way of drawing attention to this year's fundraising effort to support wounded service personnel and the families of those lost in combat.

Behind the 300 poppies, the soldier's camouflage kit, helmet and boots were barely visible to shoppers as they passed through the Morrisons store at Clipbush Lane.

John Whiteside, 71, the branch's vice-chairman, said the continuing conflict in Afghanistan made the appeal “more important now than ever”.

“The older veterans need our help less and less but the people who are coming back with injuries now will need looking after for the rest of their lives,” he said. “We need all the money we can get.”

Sid Hilton, 72, served in the army for 23 years including five tours of duty in Northern Ireland. His youngest son Kevin, who works in field intelligence, is due to go out to Afghanistan in May.

“When he gets there I know I will have the worry of whether he is going to come home,” he said. “This is for all the fellows who are coming home injured and the families of the ones who have died. They need our support.”

Last year, Fakenham branch members raised £11,000 towards the appeal, and this year they have more than 200 collection tins around their district an attempt to beat that total.

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