Poppy wreaths from people across the West of England were transported on a special memorial train to mark Remembrance Day today (Friday 11 November).
Metro Mayor Dan Norris was aboard the train leaving Bristol Parkway station at 9.16am and carried a wreath bearing the message:
“We will never forget the sacrifice of those from the West of England who have served. We owe a debt beyond measure.” which he will lay at the war memorial on Platform 1 at Paddington in time for the 11 November Remembrance Day service at 11am.
The Poppies to Paddington event, organised by The Veterans Charity and Great Western Railway, started during the pandemic as memorial services had to be cancelled due to Covid, and is now returning for its third year.
The train expedition symbolises the long journey made by soldiers on their way to war and will see swathes of poppy wreaths placed on the GWR trains from across the region all going to Paddington.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “We honour and remember the sacrifices made by West of England service men and women, veterans and their families. Theirs is the ultimate public service. Poppies to Paddington provides a touching modern-day illustration of the long, long train ride that so many soldiers took on a perilous path to war in continental Europe. Many years on it is even more important to remember these dark days and to pass on the importance of Remembrance to the generations to come”.