Just as we do every year, myself and several ICG colleagues have been helping the Isleworth Royal British Legion to sell poppies at a number of local outlets including the large Tesco stores at Isleworth and Osterley.
The Poppy Organiser at IRBL is my father, Ronald Andrews, and it is probably fair to say that other ICG members make up the larger part of the selling team that has seen collections increase steadily each year for the last several years.
In Isleworth the parade itself, which takes place this Sunday, has also been growing. At first this may seem odd, with the number of ex-servicemen ever decreasing for obvious reasons, but Isleworth of course is a community in which civic participation is now actively encouraged across the board. Whilst a dozen or so years ago the parades would be attended only by ex-service people, a few Legion members and a small gaggle of local dignitaries, it is now possible to count in the hundreds the number of ordinary, everyday members of the community who come along to honour those who gave their lives for us all. I believe this is a welcome development.
It is a fitting tribute to the gallantry and valour of these brave people that their memory should not only be being kept alive, but that awareness of their sacrifice should actually be increasing.
If you are reading this article before November 9th and haven't yet bought a poppy, please pop along to Tesco or another local vendor and do so now.