Prince Harry opens 89th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey 70,000 Remembrance Symbols planted by The Poppy Factory 

 

Prince Harry will open the 89th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, to remember those in the Armed Forces who have lost their lives, on Thursday 9th November at 11.00 am.

Organised and run by The Poppy Factory every year, the Field will have 380 plots laid out in the names of military organisations and associations on the North Green of the Abbey. Remembrance symbols, made by veterans working at the factory in Richmond, are planted in these plots, often with hand written messages, from family, friends or colleagues.

The Poppy Factory employs 36 veterans and dependents with disabilities, making the Remembrance symbols for the Field, as well as other Remembrance products for The Royal British Legion and the Royal Family. The Poppy Factory expanded in 2010 to support veterans with disabilities into employment across England and Wales. Their community-based service to support veterans with physical and mental health conditions, has so far helped over 800 wounded, injured or sick veterans into meaningful employment.

The Poppy Factory’s Chief Executive, Deirdre Mills said:

“We are honoured to have His Royal Highness opening the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey this year. Remembrance is such an important time and our staff work all year round in order to prepare for the event.

“The ceremony is an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives and it is also a time to remember those who are still with us, who have given so much to protect our Country.

“After coming out of the Forces with mental and physical health conditions, many of the veterans we work with struggle to find work. By giving them the support and confidence they need and restoring their financial independence, through employment, we can make a huge difference to their lives and to their families.”

The Field was started in 1928 by the founder of The Poppy Factory, Major George Howson MC, together with a group of disabled ex-Servicemen at St Margaret’s Church. They gathered around a wooden cross taken from a battlefield grave of an unknown British soldier and invited passers-by to plant a poppy around a wooden cross.

At the opening of the Field The Poppy Factory’s President, Mrs Sara Jones CBE DL, will invite Prince Harry to lay a Cross of Remembrance followed by Last Post, the Exhortation to Remembrance, two-minute silence and Reveille before Prince Harry tours the plots meeting veterans.

The Field of Remembrance will stay open until Sunday 19th November and members of the public are invited to lay their own crosses. Proceeds from the Field are given to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Notes to editors

Media Facilities

For media facilities at the Field of Remembrance please contact the Communications team at Westminster Abbey:  020 7654 4926 press@westminster-abbey.org

Please note that media accreditation for the opening of the Field has now closed.

About The Poppy Factory:

The Poppy Factory (TPF) is the country’s leading employability organisation for disabled veterans. From its base in Richmond, Surrey, the charity provides tailored support across England and Wales to help ex-Forces men and women with disabilities or health challenges to return to meaningful work.

TPF works with many businesses around the country to transform the way employers think about employing disabled people.

The charity has helped over 800 individuals into work since it started its Getting You Back to Work programme in 2010 and a similar number have registered for support for this year alone. The Poppy Factory aims to deliver the most effective support for its veterans and the service is built upon a solid evidence base. This has ensured that over 70% of TPF’s disabled veterans remain in work for 12 months or longer (which compares significantly higher than other services).

If you would like to support us or know more about our work please visit www.poppyfactory.org

TPF also employs around 30 veterans and dependents with health challenges at its factory in Richmond, producing remembrance products for the Royal Family and for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

For more information, please contact Joanna at joannaj@poppyfactory.org

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