VOLUNTEERS at a branch of the Royal British Legion are celebrating after winning an award for selling the most poppies in Lancashire.

The Great Harwood branch raised nearly £15,000 from 2010 to 2012, and volunteers saw their efforts rewarded with the Silver Rose Bowl trophy.

Chairman Len Myerscough, 81, said: “In 2010, we sold over £3,000. In 2011, it was over £5,000. And in 2012, it was over £6,000.

“But in 2013 we sold over £3,700 so we could win it again.”

Mr Myerscough served in the Far East during the Second World War, and said it was important to help living veterans as well as remembering the fallen.

He said: “I served in the Korean War in the Army.

“I was born and bred in Great Harwood, and was in the East Lancashire Regiment in Egypt. They said they needed reinforcements so I was transferred to the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

“I served in Hong Kong and finished in Japan.”

“If anybody needs help, such as ex-soldiers who need a stair-lift, the money goes towards paying for that as well, and that’s why I do it.”

Volunteers from the club collected money by standing in supermarkets, the streets, and by placing collection boxes in local shops.

Red ‘remembrance’ poppies became a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day after Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields, which said: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row.”

Mr Myerscough, who worked as a decorator, factory worker and hospital worker, said: “I want to thank the people of Great Harwood for their donations.

“It’s team work.

“In 2013, we also sold over £3,700 worth of poppies, so we should win it again.”