SSAFA takes part in GWR’s ‘Poppies to Paddington’

“Poppies to Paddington” – an initiative by Great Western Railway (GWR) – took place on Friday, November 10, 2023.

The idea, thought up during the Covid lockdown, is simple.

Poppy wreaths from military organisations – including numerous branches of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity – are taken to railway stations on GWR routes in England and Wales and then by rail to Paddington Station.

There, they are laid before and around the Great Western Railway War Memorial – a bronze statue of a WWI soldier dressed in heavy winter clothing reading a letter from home – on Platform 1 before a simple service of dedication and remembrance took place.

A SSAFA spokesperson said:

It’s a very moving experience to take part in GWR’s Poppies to Paddington.

Seeing the many, many wreaths set with such care and respect around the statue – itself an incredibly poignant memorial of a typical soldier, weary from battle, reading a letter from his loved ones at home – really is quite something.

All at SSAFA, especially the branches on the GWR routes up to London, are very grateful to the staff of GWR for this, and are equally proud to have taken part.”

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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