Wanderers are proud to play host to the launch of the countywide poppy appeal for the fifth year running, in partnership with the Royal British Legion.A ceremony will be staged at half-time during Saturday's game against Carlisle United to formally kick off the High Wycombe branch of the Royal British Legion’s commemorations of those who gave their lives for their country, ahead of Remembrance Day which falls next month.
The occasion is a particularly poignant one for the club following a trip to the World War I battlefields last October, when manager Gareth Ainsworth led his squad to northern France to visit the memorial to the Footballers’ Battalions in Longueval, and to learn more about football players just like themselves who fell in the Great War.
Ainsworth had represented modern-day footballers at the unveiling of the memorial in 2010, and returned with his players to discover the stories of the Footballers’ Battalions (Middlesex 17th and 23rd regiments) who fought in the war, including Frank Buckley, Vivian Woodward and Walter Tull, who was the second black professional footballer and the first black army officer, as well as PFA chairman Evelyn Lintott and Victoria Cross recipient Donald Bell.
During the trip, the squad were able to lay a poppy tribute to former Wycombe Wanderers player James McDermott at the Thiepval Memorial, which commemorates soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme but whose bodies were never found, while they also had the chance to research and visit the burial sites of relatives who may have fought in the war.
Adams Park first staged the ceremony in 2011 – continuing to support the Royal British Legion in each year since.
Supporters will be able to obtain poppies at the match in return for a donation, as part of the Legion’s activities to raise much-needed funds for the work they undertake.
Wanderers’ partnership with the Legion is also particularly relevant as 101-year-old club president Monty Seymour holds the position of president of the High Wycombe branch of the organisation, having served in World War II and been made an honorary burgess of the town in 2002.
Click here to view the booklet produced after the trip to the Somme.