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Todmorden war veteran loses fight for white poppy wreath
A CAMPAIGN to lay a white poppy wreath during Todmorden’s remembrance ceremony has been defeated — for now.
Veteran Labour town councillor Frank McManus had led calls for the authority to be allowed to place a white poppy tribute at the service in Centre Vale Park.
The wreath is adopted by the Peace Pledge Union to remember “all the victims of war” and has been around since the 1930s.
But Royal British Legion supporters have strongly opposed the idea and the idea has been temporarily abandoned.
Todmorden’s annual remembrance service takes place in the Calderdale Council-owned park.
Willie Birch, chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion branch, said: “We are not against anyone laying a wreath if they want to.
“Coun McManus can lay a wreath if he wants to but Remembrance Sunday is not the appropriate time or place.”
Coun McManus also wanted the council’s policy of laying a red poppy wreath to be reviewed after 2018, the anniversay of the end of the Great War.
“The red poppy, in my opinion, is specific to the tragedies of World War One and Two,” he said.
Councillors heard he had laid a white poppy wreath when he previously served as the town’s mayor.
Coun McManus had seen his plan opposed by the council’s general purposes committee and it was defeated again at a full town council meeting.
Coun David O’Neill, who chairs the general purpose committee, said it was wrong for Coun McManus to try and revive his plans and urged him to wait until later in the year — closer to Remembrance Sunday — if he wanted to discuss the matter again.