Britain’s longest serving poppy seller, 103, set to hang up her collecting tin after almost a century

Britain’s longest-serving poppy seller is set to hang up her collecting tin after almost a century.

Rosemary Powell, 103, was just six when she began selling the Royal British Legion poppies on Remembrance Day in 1921 – the year the appeal was first held.

© press association Rosemary Powell and former Royal Marine Nick Fleming, who has benefited from her fundraising

But this year will be her last as Rosemary feels she is “getting old”.

Recalling her first time selling them with mum Evelyn on Richmond Bridge in South West London, she said: “It really caught public attention, the poppies were so popular we ran out in no time.

“It’s been a very important cause for me.”

© Credits: PA

Rosemary’s father, Charles, survived being shot in the head in the First World War.

She lost two godfathers and three uncles in that conflict.

Fiance Robin and brother Peter, an Army major, both died in the Second World War.

© Credits: PA

Rosemary, who nursed injured troops, wed Naval officer Selwyn five years after war ended.

She said of her fundraising: “We did it in memory of those men who were killed – for their sacrifice.

“Sadly war has had a significant impact on my life.”
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