Poppy seller to retire after 97 years

Image copyright Royal Uk Legion
Image caption Rosemary Powell is considered to be Britain’s longest serving, and earliest, poppy seller

A former World Battle Two nurse is to retire through selling poppies after 97 many years of collecting for the appeal.

Rosemary Powell, 103, first assisted her mother sell poppies upon Richmond Bridge at the age of six for your first Poppy Appeal in 1921.

The great-grandmother, through London, said collecting had “kept me going all these years” yet she was “getting old”.

The Royal British Legion said Mrs Powell’s efforts have been “nothing short of phenomenal”.

She is thought to be Britain’s longest offering, and oldest, poppy seller.

Image copyright PA/Royal Uk Legion
Image caption Mrs Powell lived near to where poppies were made in 1921 and sold them on Richmond Bridge

For the 1921 Poppy Appeal, Mrs Powell said her mother Evelyn had to buy red crepe document to make her own poppies after they rapidly sold out of the originals.

“She made these very simple small poppies and we soon sold out once again. It was the very first one so it actually caught the public’s attention, inch she said.


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The 103-year-old said war “has had a significant impact on my life”.

Her father Charles Ashton James was left injured after being shot in the mind during the Battle of the Somme, and he or she lost two godfathers and 3 uncles during World War One particular.

Mrs Powell’s 1st fiance Robin Ellis, who was the commander in the Royal Navy, passed away in 1944 when the Lancaster bomber he was flying in damaged.

She also dropped her younger brother Peter, a significant in the Army, during World Battle Two.

Image copyright laws PA/Royal British Legion
Image caption During Globe War Two, Mrs Powell skilled as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse

During the conflict Mrs Powell educated as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse providing civilian nursing towards the military.

In later years the lady spent time living abroad yet she continued to fundraise.

She made poppies away from paper for Remembrance Day whilst living in Africa, and sold french equivalent of poppies, blue cornflowers, while living with her husband within France.

She mentioned the appeal had “always already been a very important cause for me. We achieved it in memory of those men who have been killed, for their sacrifice”.

Emma Cannings, director of a regular membership and volunteers at Royal Uk Legion, said the charity had been “incredibly thankful for her support within the generations. ”

Picture copyright PA/Royal British Legion
Image caption Rosemary Powell sold blue cornflowers associated with remembrance while she lived along with her husband Selwyn in Italy