Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Alan Dowden, was up bright and early on 11 November to meet a very special train at Romsey Station as part of Great Western Railway’s (GWR) Poppies to Paddington initiative.
The Poppy Train, which was organised by GWR in association with The Veterans Charity, stopped at various other locations along the way, including Portsmouth, Salisbury and Southampton.
The Mayor handed over the wreath on behalf of the people in Test Valley, before it was whisked away on its journey to London to join hundreds of other wreaths from across the country at the war memorial on platform one at Paddington Station. Together they created a display of remembrance for all the communities served by GWR’s intercity trains.
This year also marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, so there was an additional focus on South Atlantic veterans.
Poppies to Paddington was conceived in 2020 to ensure communities within the GWR network could honour the country’s fallen heroes despite the restrictions in place around Covid-19.
Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Alan Dowden, said: “It was an absolute honour to be involved in the Poppies to Paddington initiative. It is such a fantastic operation and it is incredibly moving to see the photographs of all of the wreaths at Paddington Station.
“We will remember all of those who have sacrificed so much for each and every one of us alive today, as well as the generations to come.”