MP backs animal purple poppy appeal

A CAMPAIGN to mark the death of millions of animals who died during the two world wars has been backed by the MP for Eastbourne.

Stephen Lloyd wants locals to don a purple poppy alongside their traditional British Legion one this November to remember animals killed during conflicts.

Huge numbers of horses, mules, dogs and pigeons were put to work on the front line alongside the military throughout the First and Second World Wars – with many continuing to suffer and die as a result of war today.

The purple poppies are on sale at the new Kit Wilson Trust charity shop at 19 Terminus Road and from the Sainsbury’s store in the Arndale Centre.

This is the third year in which a wreath of purple poppies will be laid among the sea of red wreaths in the remembrance service at the town’s war memorial.

In 2009, Eastbourne Borough Council voted unanimously to include animals in the official service, making Eastbourne the first town outside London to formally remember animals in this way.

Today, the campaign is growing in popularity with wreaths of purple poppies being laid at many towns and cities in the UK.

Organisers Bill Palethorpe and Ann Johnson said, “We are tremendously grateful for Stephen Lloyd’s support in helping create greater awareness of animal suffering through war.”

The purple poppy campaign is also supported by the Eastbourne Combined Ex-Services Association.

Many of Eastbourne’s ex-service men and women saw their animal companions die during World War Two and more recently, so feel they deserve recognition.

The parade and service take place on November 13.