Labour parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Cllr Neil Coyle, has launched a campaign to secure recognition for the Bermondsey site of the original poppy factory in the UK. The campaign launch occurred on Monday 4th August to coincide with the centenary of the UK entrance into what became known as the Great War.
In 1922 the 'Disabled Society' established the first UK poppy making factory with funding from the British Legion. The factory was on the corner of the Old Kent Road and St James' Road in Bermondsey and employed injured servicemen originally. Poppies were designed to be made with the use of just one arm. The factory has since moved to Richmond and the original building no longer stands.
Campaigners are seeking funding for a plaque for the area the original factory stood. Labour's Neil Coyle is pleased to be leading the campaign with help from local councillors, tenants and residents' groups, the Friends of Southwark Park and members of Southwark's Civic Association. Campaigners aim to have a plaque for the site before he anniversary of Armistice Day and will be approaching local people and businesses for support. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to donate to this campaign.
Neil Coyle says: "Bermondsey and Southwark have made a significant contribution to our Forces, but this unrecognised element of employing veterans and making poppies must not be forgotten. Bermondsey helped build the UK contribution to remembering our fallen heroes, injured veterans and our current Forces. A plaque recognising this unique contribution on the site in this centenary year would only be fitting."
We will remember them.
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