Weston veteran to place wreath as part of nationwide act of Remembrance

Normandy veteran Reg Charles from Weston-Super-Mare with his wreath for Poppies for Paddington. Pict

Normandy veteran Reg Charles from Weston with his wreath for Poppies for Paddington. - Credit: Archant

A World War Two and Normandy veteran from Weston will be placing a wreath on the train to Paddington today (Thursday) as part of the nationwide Routes of Remembrance event.

Routes of Remembrance is a poignant initiative set up by The Veterans Charity, which will see wreaths of tribute touring the country and even overseas.

It follows the success of the Poppies to Paddington event held last year in conjunction with Great Western Railway, which saw more than 250 wreaths make their way on trains to the station war memorial on the morning of Armistice Day.

Reg Charles served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the 5th then 1st Battalion.

He was called up in January 1942 a month before his 19th birthday. He went to Normandy in July 1944 and took part in the Normandy campaign.

Danny Greeno, chief executive of The Veterans Charity, said they had built on the success of last year to create something unique.

He said: “The way this has snowballed is amazing and it has really taken on a life of its own – it’s going to be huge. GWR were brilliant last year and really helped make it special, so this year with many more operators, on board we are expanding it even further.

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“We have wreaths touring all over the country and we’ve had a brilliant response from numerous transport companies, for which we’re deeply grateful.

“Absolutely anyone can join in and take a wreath on a tour, long or short, by train or even on foot – we’d love as many people to get involved as possible.

“The pandemic hasn’t gone away yet, so this is for the veterans, who can see that Remembrance is happening in a very unique way, plus it celebrates the deep links between the railways and the military.”

The Veterans Charity is keen for people to get involved by holding their own events to take a wreath on a long or short tour, whether on November 11 or before.

All manner of volunteers and organisers will also be needed throughout Routes of Remembrance at stations and other locations around the country.

To find out more about the event and how you could get involved, log on to www.veteranscharity.org.uk/remembrance