A formal Huddersfield Poppy Appeal launch has been held for the first time.
And Holmfirth artist Ashley Jackson is spearheading this year’s Huddersfield campaign in a bid to raise awareness among young people about the tragic cost of World War One and Two which claimed his own father’s life.
He and head Huddersfield Poppy Appeal organiser and ex-serviceman Jeffrey Woodward have begun a contest to find the best appeal poster designed by school classes and groups from around the area.
Ashley said: “My father was executed by the Imperial Japanese Army when I was four in Borneo where he was enlisting in the Intelligence Corps.
“He was captured at Kuching before being sent to Labuan and had to dig his own grave before he was shot.
“The Poppy Appeal means a huge amount to me because it encourages people to remember those who died like my dad and I think it’s important that children continue this tradition.
“Because of those involved in the war we still have our freedom now and I think it’s important that younger generations understand this massive contribution they gave.”
Take a look at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park's poppy exhibition below.
Schools have been sent letters informing them about how to get pupils aged up to 16 involved.
Ashley will give three sketchbooks with an original sketch in each to the winners.”
Jeffrey, a retired solicitor and honorary member of Huddersfield Pendragon Round Table, hopes the contest will encourage youngsters to volunteer as poppy money collectors.
He said: “One of our longest collectors is Richard Gudgeon of Roberts’ Castings who has helped for 50 years and done a fantastic job, like other people have also done.
Watch the Tower of London poppies take shape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in this amazing timelapse video
“It would just be good if we could get some younger people involved to give some of our older volunteers a rest.”
Huddersfield mayor Clr Paul Kane will host a town centre Poppy Appeal launch on October 24 which will mark the start of two weeks of fundraising.
The closing date for the schools’ competition is November 20 and details of how to enter are included on the letters.
To enquire about volunteering call Poppy Appeal secretary Sarah Walker on 01484 537312 or 07985 244440.