Second World War veterans help launch Poppy Appeal
Northern Ireland's 2019 Poppy Appeal has been officially launched by two Second World War veterans in Co Fermanagh.
Bob Lingwood and Dave Mullin presented the first appeal poppy at a special event, organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) in Castle Archdale Wartime Museum.
Councillor Diana Armstrong, vice-chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, received the presentation.
Also in attendance at the event were service personnel and RBL members.
The theme of this year's appeal is 'Remember Together' and coincides with the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day - along with other key Second World War campaigns.
In tribute to the momentous events of 1944 which ultimately helped lead to the Allied victory, the 2019 Poppy Appeal will remember the many Allied, Empire and Commonwealth nations that stood with the UK.
John Stewart, RBL NI chairman, said: "During the Second World War, Britain did not 'stand alone', as it has been said - 13 different nations participated in D-Day alone, alongside countless others in key operations at Monte Cassino in Italy and Imphal/Kohima in India.
"The sacrifices they made on our behalf deserve to be recognised, so we are asking our nation to 'Remember Together', to wear your poppy with pride and show your support for our Armed Forces community, both past and present.
"Every donation received by the Poppy Appeal will make a real difference not only to the lives of servicemen and women and veterans but to their families as well, who can also experience difficulties when dealing with the circumstances of a loved one who is serving."
The setting of this year's appeal is also significant as Castle Archdale played an international contribution to the war effort during the Second World War.
Between 1941 and 1945 thousands of British, American, Canadian and Australian troops were based in Fermanagh, most notably at the castle's flying boat station, providing air cover to vital Atlantic convoys during the war.
This year's Northern Ireland fundraising target is £1.3m and the funds will be used to help the legion to continue providing support to service and ex-service personnel and their families through hardships, injuries and bereavements.
Further information about the annual Poppy Appeal can be found at www.britishlegion.org.uk