We all love a game of bingo and the enjoyment we get from the game is difficult to equal. However one of the few things that enhances our experience even more is playing in the knowledge that we are also boosting the coffers for a worthy cause.
That is exactly what happened in a village south of Shropshire when the British Legion were raising money for this year's poppy appeal. The village of Clee Hill has two pubs and a handful of shops but its residents banded together to support a very worthy cause.
The Clee Hill and District branch of the Royal British Legion organised an evening of prize bingo in aid of the annual poppy appeal. Local businesses had donated the prizes and it was soon eyes down for the big event. The turnout was excellent and the organisers were absolutely delighted with the support they received from local villagers and their families. Over 100 people attended the evening event and a grand total of £772.28 was raised for a very worthy cause. The British Legion County Chairman turned his hand to bingo calling and closed the evening by thanking all the businesses who had donated prizes and all those villages who turned out to lend their support. He gave a short address on the importance of raising money through the poppy appeal.
The remembrance poppy has been used since 1921 to commemorate soldiers who died in the war. The Royal British Legion distribute poppies in return for donations so they can support all current and former military personnel who have suffered during the wars. Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday nearest to November 11th. This day is chosen as it is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the ending of the First World War. Many ceremonies are held throughout the country and traditionally wreaths of remembrance poppies are laid at war memorials in cities, towns and villages. There is often a parade and soldiers proudly display their medals and remember those who did not return from battle. Civil dignitaries often attend too together with ex-service men and women. Two minutes silence is held at 11 0'clock and church bells are rung half muffled in respect for the sombre occasion.
We all wear our poppy with pride to honour the fallen and certainly not to glorify war. It is very fitting that the British Legion in Clee Hill elected to use a bingo fundraiser to support their poppy appeal. Bingo has become a firm favourite with many ex-service men and women who have been attracted to the game for its pure entertainment and fun value. For older veterans it helps to while away the hours and is a welcome distraction from the horrors of past wars. I believe even the Royal Princes William and Harry have enjoyed a game or two with service personnel. Let's hope in years to come that the horror of war becomes just a memory and that bingo will continue to amuse and entertain people from all walks of life.