THE MUM of a Buxton Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan helped to launch the North Derbyshire Poppy Appeal in the town last week.
Jayne Taylor, whose 21-year-old son Scott was killed by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in the Helmand province in May 2010, officially opened this year’s campaign by handing over the first poppy to High Peak Mayor Pat Jenner.
The launch event was held at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens and also featured representatives from the armed forces and members of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch.
Jayne, who was accompanied by her husband Steve, himself a former Marine, said: “I am honoured to have been asked to take part in the launch of the Poppy Appeal in the town that bears our son’s name on its war memorial.
“The words ‘Lest We Forget’ mean so much to us, and to so many like us as parents and families of those who have paid the ultimate price.
“The symbolic act of wearing a poppy or planting a cross in the Field of Remembrance reassures us, and so many like us, that our country remembers their sacrifice.
“The whole town of Buxton has been so supportive of us since the day it happened and Scott was so proud of Buxton that we are pleased the launch was held here for the town and also for Scott.
“Two more people were killed in Afghanistan last week and it is just like a recurring nightmare. Hearing the news bulletins just makes you think of their families and what they are going through because we know how they feel.
“You always wear your poppy with pride. I just never thought I’d be wearing it for my own son.”
The poppy shop will be situated at Lloyds TSB in Spring Gardens from Monday, November 5 to Saturday, November 10, during normal banking hours.
All wreaths, with the exception of those which are delivered, may be purchased and collected from there.
As well as street collections, there will be poppy sellers in Morrisons and the Spring Gardens Centre, Buxton.
Last year the branch raised over £17,000 but it is hoped this year’s appeal can pass the £20,000 mark.
However, a new site for storing the poppies and counting the money raised is desperately needed as Buxton’s Royal British Legion club closed earlier this year.
Organiser Mo Stewart said: “We need a reasonably sized, dry room to store all the poppies and all the other equipment we have.
“We also have a team of about ten people counting all the money so we need somewhere we can sit and have a drink because last year it took us four days to count all the money.”
lAnyone who can help should contact Allan Smith, Poppy Appeal Organiser, on 01298 27450.