Purple Poppy Appeal

We launched this year’s Appeal (Monday August 19, 2019) with Miss Great Britain 2019, Kobi -Jean Cole, who wore a dramatic cloak made up of thousands of knitted purple poppies sent from all corners of Great Britain and Australia, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand and the USA at the Animals in War Memorial in Hyde Park – an appropriate venue dedicated to all animals that served and died alongside British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time.

Kobi-Jean, a 23-year-old anti-bullying ambassador from Bristol, says she was honoured to have been chosen to launch the appeal and to wear with pride the cloak of many poppies made by hundreds of kind-hearted people. “I have always been an animal lover, and so it was a great honour for me to have been asked to launch this year’s appeal to support such worthy causes.” In truth, we have been both astonished and humbled by the way the Great British public have taken the cause to their hearts. From this month the animal charity Blue Cross is selling boxes of our emblematic purple poppy pin badges in its high street shops and across its hospitals, clinics and rehoming services. Meanwhile our network of organisations, pet stores, schools and supporters across the UK have been busy already, and our growing army of Ambassador volunteers are enthusiastically selling them. If you are interested in buying our pin badges, which sell for a suggested donation of £2 then please contact us at info@thewarhorsememorial.org

Last July (2018) we launched the first national Purple Poppy Appeal when a million purple poppy petals fell from the skies over Windsor Castle to remember the service and sacrifice of horses, mules and donkeys during the First World War.

As music played, riders and horses dressed in uniforms of the Great War proudly rode through the spectacle as a low-flying plane dropped the petals, watched on by thousands of spectators, including HM The Queen’s granddaughter and Olympic equestrian, Zara Phillips, who agreed to wear our purple poppy pin badge.

The display featured the acclaimed International Soprano Christina Johnston, singing A Million Tears, especially composed for the project by Warwick, Young & Maclean, and produced by North Star Music Publishing.

We designated August 23, National Purple Poppy Day as this was the date of the Battle of Mons and the first cavalry charge of the Great War and also the first loss of an equine life in battle. 

We were delighted to have sold all 5000 Pin Badges in support of our chosen charities.

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This year we are delighted to report we have pre-orders for 250,000 such is the appeal of the purple poppy and its significance to people all over the UK and the Commonwealth.

More than 200 guests attended our Anniversary Charity Ball, at The Pavilions suite at Ascot Racecourse, hosted by our great friend Chris Hollins. So much has happened that it’s extraordinary to believe it was only this time last year that we unveiled Poppy our magnificent War Horse, created by our amazing sculptor Susan Leyland and cast by the talented folk of the Black Isle Bronze Foundry in Scotland.

That night we launched our intent to support our wonderful chosen charities – The Household Cavalry Foundation; Mane Chance Sanctuary; World Horse Welfare; Brooke; Blue Acre; RDA Windsor and Ascot Driving Group and more recently we have added the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund to that number. We were delighted to announce partnership working with the Edinburgh March Riding Association and the animal charity Blue Cross. Acclaimed soprano Christina Johnston sang our anthem songs ‘To Glory‘ and ‘A Million Tears‘ (beautifully written by Warwick, Young and Maclean) as canons fired paper petals There were musical performances too from Beau Dermott and Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery, who with Christina we announced as our three latest Ambassadors.

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