HASLEMERE has retained its title of ‘Surrey’s poppy town’ with a record-breaking Poppy Appeal. 

Volunteers collected a jaw dropping £40,000 for the Royal British Legion (RBL) in just two weeks, with all the funds going towards helping veterans and service men and women.

“I am absolutely delighted and astounded at the generosity of our community and am almost speechless at this result,” said honorary Poppy Appeal organiser Jim Edwards.

But it was not just the community who donated who have Mr Edwards thanks. On behalf of the RBL Mr Edwards wants to thank everyone who contributed to the Poppy Appeal this year, with a special thank you to Jenny and Sam Rogers for the delivery and collection of the many poppy boxes and tins.

Mr Edwards added: “The overall exceptional result would not have been achieved without the assistance given to our volunteer collectors by South West Railways for the use of Haslemere Station, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, also the support given by Waverley Borough Council and Haslemere Town Council.”

Former Mayor Brian Howard and his team once again ensured Haslemere looked the part with large poppies placed on lamp posts around the town from Grayswood to Beacon Hill. 

“Your contributions ensure life can be more bearable for those unfortunate to have been injured in defending our liberties and for the dependants of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Edward. "Your help really does make a difference as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who serve our country.”

There were many notable collection totals this year with Tesco, M&S and Waitrose amassing sums of more than £11,000, £10,000 and £7,000, respectively. The School Community also raised an impressive £2,700.

Mr Edwards said: “I would like to express huge thanks to the RAF Cadets for raising £2,500 and they did, of course, play an integral role on Remembrance Sunday.

“On a personal note, I would like to give my grateful thanks to Jim Kilby, Cllrs Jacqui Keene and John Robini who completed multiple collection hours. Thanks to Sandra Gilbert and William Nation, Graham Wren, Mike Clarke and my wife Lesley who assisted me as the Poppy Appeal organiser and hopefully they will - along with myself - continue to be involved and a reliable source of support in the future when Mike Clarke ‘takes the reins’ in 2024.”

Following requests from wreath donators as well as residents and businesses, Mr Edwards will be rotating poppy wreaths on a monthly basis at the High Street memorial, ensuring representation all year round ‘Lest we Forget’.