A remarkable woman who helped raise money for the Royal British Legion’s first ever poppy appeal has been busy doing exactly the same thing 94 years later.
Rosemary Powell was just six when she sold poppies for the military charity’s first appeal in 1921 - three years after the First World War ended.
And the 100-year-old has been busy in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday (November 8) and Armistice Day (November 11), selling the poppies in Kings Mall , Hammersmith this week.
She sold her first poppies on Twickenham Bridge with her mother and says her efforts to help the military and legion have never wavered. She said: “I will go on as long as I can.
"I’ll be 101 in January.
“I do it because I’m able to do it. Someone has got to do it, why not me? I’m perfectly capable as long as I can sit.”
She is part of team of dedicated volunteers based in Kings Street who were given the empty office space by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
Rosemary, who lives in Stamford Brook, Hammersmith , grew up in Cubmria and moved to London to train as a nurse after working as a voluntary nurse at a military hospital in Manchester.
She looked after German prisoners of war, helped by her knowledge of French which many of them could speak, and went on to qualify as a nurse.
During the Second World War she would have to remain above ground during air raids to look after patients and saw terrible injuries.
She remains keenly aware of the sacrifices made by British servicemen, having lost many loved ones during the first and second world wars, including her brother.
Her father was also badly wounded at the Battle of the Somme, while her husband Selwyn, who died in 1994, worked on the Arctic convoys during the Second World War, making the dangerous crossing eight times.
After the war, she became a midwife, working at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital when it was based in Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith.
She went on to become a Girl Guide leader and later a missionary in Africa, before returning to England to start a family.
Her work was praised by H&F council representative for the Armed Force, Cllr Alan De’Ath. He said: “The passion and dedication shown by Rosemary and the other volunteers is amazing.
“The work they do is particularly poignant during this time, as we continue to mark 100 years since the First World War , and I hope residents will join us in supporting the work of the volunteers and the Royal British Legion.”
Her volunteer group will be selling poppies at QPR’s game against Preston on Saturday (November 7).