Shield honours life of young man killed before joining Royal Engineers

This Is Wiltshire: Richard Stigwood, centre, is presented with the shield by Babs Stigwood and Paddy Croxford, president of the Royal British Legion, Calne Richard Stigwood, centre, is presented with the shield by Babs Stigwood and Paddy Croxford, president of the Royal British Legion, Calne

Newsagent Richard Stigwood has been awarded a silver shield by Calne members of the Royal British Legion after collecting £288 for the Poppy Appeal.

Centre News in the High Street is the second independent business in the town to be awarded the annual Rory Penman shield after collecting the most money by selling poppies in November.

The shield was donated last year by Royal British Legion supporter Bea Penman in memory of her late son Rory, and to urge Calne businesses to support the charity.

Rory had just turned 20 when he was killed in a car crash in Chippenham in February 1997. He was due to join the Royal Engineers.

He did a lot of work with the Royal British Legion and was involved with Wiltshire Army Cadets, when he was chosen as a cadet to the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.

Mr Stigwood said: “It’s just nice that the Royal British Legion and Mrs Penman have given this shield for whoever collects the most money.

“It’s surprising what money people put in and how much money the children put in. It’s the money the Royal British Legion needs to continue and it is money that goes to the needy people.”

The Royal British Legion provides care and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

Last year the charity’s target was to raise £37 million across the country through the Poppy Appeal and so far the Calne branch has raised £12,000.

Paul Mayo, chairman of the Calne branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “The thing you find with Richard, and there are others like him, is that they ring us within days of bringing the collection boxes saying ‘can you come in and bring another one because this one is full.’

“One of the heartening things is the number of young children who, rather than getting change in the shops, have said ‘can you put it in the poppy boxes?’

“A lot of people associate the Poppy Appeal with older generations and it’s heartening to see young children recognise the sacrifice that’s being made.

“In Calne we have a bit of a campaign going on anyway.

“We have tried to raise the profile of the branch. We turn up at all the local events. It gives us that little window to the community to be able to raise awareness.”

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