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Remembrance wreaths have been airlifted across Cornwall thanks to the Royal Navy

8 November 2023
Engineering works mean The Veterans Charity was unable to begin its Poppies to Paddington scheme this year, where poppies are taken from across the country by train to London on Armistice Day.

Instead the charity asked if a Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopter on a routine training flight might transport the wreaths instead.

Representatives from across west Cornwall held a short service in a hangar at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose at Helston, to load the wreaths on a waiting helicopter.

The wreaths were flown to the Royal Citadel in Plymouth and then transported to the city’s railway station, ready to begin their journey to London on Saturday, November 11.

Taking part were Royal Navy personnel alongside west Cornwall MP Derek Thomas, the mayors of Penzance and Helston, representatives from the NHS and Great Western Railway as well as veterans from all three services of the Armed Forces who are members of The Veterans Charity.

The commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose Captain Stuart Irwin said: “An aircraft on a training sortie was available so we were delighted to step in on this occasion and help with this annual event. Remembering those who have lost their lives in the defence of our country is important to us here at RNAS Culdrose.”

Danny Greeno, the CEO of The Veterans Charity, said: “We are very proud to have wonderful support from GWR for this Remembrance initiative which is now in its fourth year. Poppies To Paddington will once again be hugely poignant, paying respects to the fallen. Thanks to great support from the military and railway communities, wreaths are still able to complete their journey from across the South-West to Paddington to form the backdrop to the annual Remembrance service on Platform 1. 

“Bringing communities, service personnel and veterans together to remember in this special way is so important to ensure the sacrifices of the fallen are never forgotten. Our sincere thanks to everyone who is helping to make this happen, especially to GWR and RNAS Culdrose.” 

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