JCB Launch Staffordshire Poppy Appeal
29th October 2018 Paul Andrews
Iconic family firm JCB hosted the official launch of this year’s Staffordshire Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, honouring the Centenary of the World War I Armistice.
JCB today hosted the official launch of this year’s Staffordshire Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, honouring the Centenary of the World War I Armistice.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE, officially launched the appeal at JCB World Headquarters, Rocester, Staffordshire.
JCB donated a unique poppy-liveried mini excavator which was auctioned to kickstart the Centenary appeal with the winning bid of £25,500 made by loyal JCB customer Arnold Plant Hire Limited.
In addition, a specially commissioned art installation, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, was unveiled.
Designed and made by JCB graduates and apprentices, it features 255 porcelain poppies – one for each Uttoxeter, Rocester and Denstone person who lost their lives in The Great War. The poppies have been handcrafted by more than 30 JCB employees who were former members of the Armed Forces.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “As a nation we must never forget the debt we owe to the Great War generation, and this year is our opportunity to say ‘Thank You’. Many people who work at JCB had forebears who fought, and in many cases died, in World War I. So many families were torn apart by that awful conflict, so it’s important that we not only say thank you, but that we also do no forget.”
HM Lord-Lieutenant Mr Ian Dudson said: “An estimated 12,000 soldiers from the North Staffordshire Regiment alone are thought to have died in World War I. That level of loss is just utterly unimaginable and it is absolutely right that our county says thank you to its brave men and women in this Centenary year of the Armistice."
“I am especially pleased to unveil this JCB artwork in front of so many of the Royal British Legion volunteers who do such a splendid job raising money for this special cause. Let’s hope this year is a record one for the amount of money raised.”
Finally, JCB paid tribute to its own employees’ forebears at the event with a 40ft x 25ft high pictorial roll of honour bearing the names of 50 JCB employees’ relatives – 21 of whom died in The Great War.
Some were awarded the highest military honours for their bravery. At the event, JCB employee Jack Atkinson shared the harrowing story of Private Arthur Rowe, of Tean, his great-great grandfather, who died at the age of 34 in October, 1917 without ever meeting his newly-born daughter, Helen.
Jack, said: “I am 27-years-old and it is essential that our generation keeps these stories alive. It is great that JCB has given us this opportunity to say thank you to our relatives and keep their memories alive.”
From Monday October 29th to Friday November 9th (weekdays only) members of the public are welcome to visit JCB World Headquarters to view the art installation and Roll of Honour.
Limited edition replica porcelain poppies to commemorate each of the 255 Uttoxeter, Rocester and Denstone people who lost their lives in World War I are available to buy (£25 each) at JCB World Headquarters shop. All the proceeds will go to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.