SPECIAL wreaths were placed on Uttoxeter’s war memorial on Sunday as the town played host to the annual conference of Staffordshire’s Royal British Legion (RBL).
The conference was held at Uttoxeter Town Hall where items effecting the RBL as a whole and more regional matters were discussed.
Before the conference got under way RBL members paraded through the town before a wreath laying ceremony was held at the town’s war memorial.
Former Uttoxeter RBL chairman Hugh Smalley agreed to be the branch’s delegate at Sunday’s conference.
He believed it was important for the branch to be represented and said it was a pleasure to see Uttoxeter play host.
He told the Advertiser: “It was something that I felt was important to be involved with this year being as it was in our patch.
“I’m not a great veteran of these conferences so I was not sure what to expect.
“One of my opposite numbers from another branch suggested he could not remember such a thing as the wreath laying ceremony at the county conference.
“It was an interesting afternoon to say the least.”
At the conference the Uttoxeter branch received the Poppy Cup, given to them for their efforts in last year’s Poppy Appeal.
The branch raised their highest ever total of £32,306.85 through the 2011 appeal which coincided with the RBL’s 90th anniversary.
Mr Smalley said it was an honour to receive the cup and though 2012’s appeal had not quite reached the same levels, it had still surpassed expectations.
He said: “The cup rewards growth year on year so it does not exclude the smaller branches and gives everyone a chance to win.
“We have still got a bit of money to come in for the 2012 appeal which looks like we could crack £26,000.
“It was a special year in 2011 with it being the 90th anniversary and we had lots of outside functions and events which helped push the total up.
“It was never going to get to those heights this year but we previously agreed that if we could match what we did in 2010 which was £24,500 we would be happy but obviously it looks like we will top £26,000.
“That is a good result considering how charities are generally struggling with the economic situation.
“It almost brings a lump to your throat that people are still putting the money in the RBL collection boxes.
“It gives you a warm feeling.”