Home heritage Britain’s oldest poppy seller honoured with special badges

Britain’s oldest poppy seller honoured with special badges

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Britain’s oldest poppy seller, who survived as a prisoner of war at Auschwitz, has been honoured with his own set of badges.

Royal British Legion bosses have created a pack containing a photo and five pin-on poppy badges to celebrate Ron Jones turning 100.

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Former prisoner-of-war Ron will sign each pack himself before they go on sale ahead of this year’s Poppy Appeal.

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Each pack contains a poppy for every year from 1914 to 1918 to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, to celebrate Ron’s birthday and him receiving the British Empire Medal.

Ron, who turns 101 in April, said: “I am very proud, very proud indeed to have this honour. The Royal British Legion does such great work for raising money for former service personnel. I still give what I can to them.”

The packs will cost £23 each – a price chosen to remember Ron’s age when he went to war in 1940.

Ron, from Newport, Gwent, has sold poppies for four decades after promising to honour his fallen friends.

Gwent Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Mike Jones said of the triple occasion: “I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to make something out of them. There are 100 packs available for the 100 years.”

Grandfather-of-two Ron, a soldier in the Welsh Regiment, was held by the Nazis as a prisoner of war at Auschwitz for two-and-a-half years – alongside the main extermination camp.

He left in 1945 when the Nazis forcibly moved prisoners as the Soviet army came to liberate the camp.

For more than four months Ron was marched 900 miles across Europe before eventually being freed.

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