British Royal Legion launches 20 ft poppy installation pointing to Neasden Temple
PUBLISHED: 14:25 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 26 October 2018
A poppy installation has been placed outside Neasden Temple as part of a national campaign in memory of WW1 heroes who served and sacrificed their lives.
The Royal British Legion (RBL) has launched its annual Poppy Appeal today with a giant 20ft memorial in Greenwich which has threads running to 14 different locations.
A red thread woven into the red flower points to the temple in Brentfield Road with its own message from an Indian veteran.
In Neasden are words from Sepoy Waris Khan, of the 22nd Regiment in Nowshera: “Do not be anxious my dear friend. Every man whom God created is bound to die someday”.
Messages have been woven into fabric to “acknowledge the wide range of contributions from across the First World War generation”.
RBL, said: “Neasden Temple is the first authentically built Hindu temple in Great Britain.
“One hundred years ago such a place would have been beyond imagining, but throughout the war soldiers from the Indian Army fought side by side with British and white commonwealth soldiers and, from the chaos of war, cooperation, understanding and mutual respect took root.
“The sacrifice of the Indian Army in defence of a foreign land was extraordinary.
“Over 1.5 million served in the war, 70,000 were killed and 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded to Indians.”
Meanwhiie, from now until Remembrance Day on November 11, people are able to buy poppies from volunteers in Brent.
Geraldine Cooke, vice chair of the Wembley and Sudbury RBL, has started distributing the bright red flowers today.
She said: “We are the smallest branch in the entire country and collect more per capita than any other branch in the country!“How do we do it, people ask?
“Well the secret is the wonderful people of Brent in all their multicultural glory, who just support in many different ways, and jolly hard work by us few footsoldiers.”
She added: “I have several thousands of poppies flowing in their bright boxes around my garage, with the bright red collecting tins, waiting to go out to 100 different places around the area from Sudbury to Neasden and all points in between, so better get on with it - to coin a phrase.”
The installation will remain on display until October 29