The poppy and Knaresborough Royal British Legion's push for returning veterans

ConflictsincludingAfghanistan and Iraq are not as strongly associated with the poppy according to the branch
ConflictsincludingAfghanistan and Iraq are not as strongly associated with the poppy according to the branch

As the heroic sacrifices of the armed forces are remembered across the country the Knaresborough chapter of the Royal British Legion is aiming to direct more support for veterans of recent conflicts.


Set to hold a service and march for Remembrance Day weekend its members plan for this year's event to help draw attention towards the hardships soldier face, whether it be mentally or physically, when returning from combat.

Conflicts including Afghanistan and Iraq are not as strongly associated with the poppy according to members, who believe this needs to be addressed to help direct much needed support.

David Houlgate of the Knaresborough Royal British Legion said: "The main thing is we are trying to get more attention towards the veterans of recent wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan. While the poppy is associated mainly with the conflicts of World War I and II, especially with the commemoration events set to take place. We are emphasising that people today are still leaving the armed forces and needing help."

He added: "We of course continue to support older veterans but Britain has been through conflicts since World War II and we need to let people now they can come to us."

Legacies totalling £20,000 from the Knaresborough branch across 2017 have been put towards supporting the veterans at Lister House in Knaresborough and Alderson House in Bridlington.

A centralised service is also in place which helps direct returning soldiers to services including homeless initiatives and mental health treatment.

Chairman of the Knaresborough Royal British Legion, Chic Thornburn said: "There are two strands that we are trying to support, the older ex-serviceman but also people from more modern conflicts, many coming back with physical and mental and physical disabilities.

"The Legion wants to be able to help provide the support that is needed to help both."