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Poppy appeal launches in Newbury

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Wash Common Conspicuous Gallantry Cross winner to launch appeal at the racecourse today (Saturday)

NEWBURY Racecourse will today (Saturday) host the launch of the 90th West Berkshire Poppy Appeal during the Armed Forces Raceday.

Taking centre stage at the event, which will include a marching band, parachute display and horse racing, will be Wash Common Conspicuous Gallantry Cross holder, Marine Mark Jackson.

He said: “It's a great honour to launch the Poppy Appeal. I'm doing it in memory of all those servicemen and woman who died.”

Mn Jackson received the award – which is second only to the Victoria Cross – after he dived on a colleague to save him from a blast in Afghanistan.

Visitors will be able get a feel for life in the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force from the various activity stands as well as the military vehicle, weapon and aircraft displays at the launch.

Other activities include an inflatable army assault course, laser and paintball range and a climbing wall, with the day culminating with a traditional after racing sing along.

The joint managing director of Newbury Racecourse, Stephen Higgins said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Royal British Legion on such a significant anniversary milestone for the Poppy Appeal, as well as recognising the amazing work of our Armed Forces. We are also very grateful to our new sponsor Worthington's and combined with their support we hope that this year's Armed Forces Raceday will be our biggest yet.”

The day's itinerary, weather permitting, is as follows:

11am Gates Open

12.40 – Marching band

12.45 – Parachute Free Fall Display onto Newbury Racecourse by Royal Navy Raiders

1250 – Poppy Appeal Launch Ceremony

First Race: 1.40pm

Last Race – 5.30pm

For ticket prices contact Newbury Racecourse on (01635) 40015.

Royal British Legion members can go free providing they pre-book.

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