An Ealing man has designed this year's Royal British Legion poppy to mark Armistice Day , 100 years since WW1 first began.

Chris Bennett from North Ealing, was commissioned to create the brass poppy badges to commemorate the national day of Remembrance.

Mr Bennett has worked with metal for years and sources all of his own materials. He decided to use old British and German shell fuses to create the poppies.

He said: “I’ve walked along the battlefields myself in search for old fuses, but I have only ever found three or four of them. We needed much more than that to create these poppies, but luckily I found somewhere where they were selling them.

“It is the first time the Royal British Legion have sold a poppy that isn't red and I’m very proud. We considered making the badges red but when the old brass is polished, it looks like 18 carat gold.”

Mr Bennett, has also created cuff-links from the old shrapnel, called 'Bill & Fritz.'

 

The quirky designs are based on old cartoon characters who were popular during the war.

Mr Bennett said:  “Old Bill was an iconic character for British soldiers in WW1 and from various ideas from that time, we created his German counterpart- Fritz."

The badges and cuff-links are in high demand and have sold out faster than anyone predicted, so Mr Bennett is busy producing more.

The historical brass trinket come in a wooden case and all the proceeds go to charity.

He said: "“I liked the project from the beginning and I thought it was particularly good as all the profits go to the Royal British Legion.”

Mr Bennett thinks it is imperative to remember all those who lost their lives in the war.

He added: “It's very important, it's such a long time ago now that none of us remember directly anyone who died. It's important to remember both in the the historical context and the fact that these people laid down their lives for their country. You should wear your poppy with pride.”