‘When I see a poppy, it reminds me that we do not mourn alone’

Pictured at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Waterfront Hall on 19th October 2013 are Brenda, Alexandra and Victoria Hale with Drummer Steed and the Royal Irish Regimental Mascot, Domhnall (Irish Wolfhound).   Copyright Presseye / Declan Roughan
Pictured at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Waterfront Hall on 19th October 2013 are Brenda, Alexandra and Victoria Hale with Drummer Steed and the Royal Irish Regimental Mascot, Domhnall (Irish Wolfhound). Copyright Presseye / Declan Roughan

The daughter of an army captain, who was killed in Afghanistan four years ago, has made a heartfelt appeal to the public to support the Poppy Appeal.

Victoria Hale, from Hillsborough, is the daughter of Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale and Captain Mark James Hale, who was killed in action while serving with 2 Rifles in 2009.

Speaking at Belfast’s Festival of Remembrance last month, Victoria said: “When I see a blood red poppy on a grey winter’s day, it reminds me that we do not mourn or remember alone; we know that you reach out to us and say for our tomorrow they gave their today. It helps to show that they still remember, they still care.”

With Remembrance Sunday marked this weekend on November 10, Victoria has stressed the “invaluable support” provided by The Royal British Legion, since the death of her father.

Urging the public to continue to support the legion, Victoria says the funds raised through the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal are vital as they ensure that other families in need continue to receive support.

The Royal British Legion’s 2013 Poppy Appeal is expected to raise in excess of £37 million, which will go towards helping support the entire Armed Forces community, past and present.

The area’s Legion Manager, Brian Maguire said: “While we support the entire Armed Forces community, families really are at the heart of our 2013 Poppy Appeal.

“We would encourage everyone to show their support by wearing a poppy. The funds raised from Poppy sales will ensure that we can continue to deliver our assistance to servicemen and women, whether they are still serving or have left the Service, and most importantly, to their dependents in times of need.”

The Legion provides wide ranging and practical support to Armed Forces families in need, including crisis grants, family breaks, benefits and money advice and sadly, at times, inquest advice.

This year’s Poppy Appeal is underway across Northern Ireland with thousands of people wearing a poppy to show their support and commemorate the unique contribution made by servicemen and women since the First World War.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.britishlegion.org.uk