JCB has paid its final tribute to the World War I generation by presenting a cheque for more than £30,000 to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
The company, which hosted Staffordshire’s Poppy Appeal launch at JCB World Headquarters, Rocester, donated a unique poppy-liveried mini excavator which was then auctioned to kickstart the Centenary appeal. The winning £25,500 bid was made by JCB customer Arnold Plant Hire Limited.
In addition, JCB commissioned Stoke-on-Trent ceramics company Valentine Clays to craft 255 bone china poppies – one for each soldier in Uttoxeter, and the surrounding villages who lost their life in The Great War. The limited edition poppies sold out within days and raised a further £6,375 for the Royal British Legion’s appeal which provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
JCB Director George Bamford, son of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, presented the £31,875 total to Royal British Legion Assistant Director Community Fundraising and Mass Events Simon O’Leary and also handed over the keys for the unique mini-excavator to Arnold Plant Hire Managing Director Philip Oldham.
He said: “The British Legion’s theme for the Centenary is ‘Thank You’ and there is no better way of saying our own thank you than helping to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. Arnold Plant Hire has given very generously and we are sure the unique poppy liveried 16C-1 mini-excavator will be a stunning addition to their JCB fleet.”
Simon O’Leary said: “The Royal British Legion would like to thank JCB and all its employees for the wonderful support in this Centenary Year of the Armistice which is marking the sacrifice and contribution of the World War One generation. Also we would like to say thank to you Arnold Plant for their support of the Poppy Appeal.”
Philip Oldham said: “We are a proud British company and we have bought a number of special liveried JCB machines in support of various UK charities. We are particularly delighted to have won this splendid poppy liveried mini excavator and its first outing will be at a Remembrance Day Parade this Sunday. Over the coming months it will be very visible on construction sites, reminding everyone of the sacrifice made by the World War I generation and saying a very special ‘Thank You’ to them!”